Crawley Town manager Harry Kewell felt his side deserved more than a point from their trip to Carlisle, but was full of praise for their ‘strength and character’ to come from two goals down.
A Karlan Ahearne-Grant brace inspired Crawley to a second half fight-back, after goals from Cumbrians’ forwards Richie Bennett and Hallam Hope had given the hosts a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Kewell praised his team’s ‘excellent’ performance, but feels they were let down by two ‘strange’ decisions by the referee.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “It was a great performance in difficult conditions and after a long trip.
“I thought the boys did excellent, and I feel it was no fault of their own that we went 2-0 down.
“It was a blatant penalty in the first half, everyone thought it was but it’s a matter of opinions and the only one that matters is the referee’s.
“Coming out in the second half you could say we were a bit lazy with the cross, but if you’re calling it on fairness and high feet, it’s not a goal.
“I don’t even think Carlisle realised he gave it. I don’t know what they (the officials) are seeing. “I’m not having a go because maybe someone was blocking their view but we find ourselves 2-0 down after two strange decisions.”
However, Kewell was delighted with the way that his players approached the game after falling behind.
He added: “We were always confident we were going to get something out of the game.
“It shows the strength and character of my team to come to grips with that and deal with the challenge ahead.
“We still played football, we didn’t panic or get scared. I’m actually disappointed we didn’t win the game.
“I give credit to my team that they were strong enough to be able to be able to come back. I feel a little bit hard done by, I felt in the end we deserved to be winners.”
Kewell also praised the ‘fantastic’ 75 away fans who made the 350 mile long journey up North to support the Reds, saying that he and the team went over and ‘showed their appreciation’ to them at the end of the game.