STEVE Pickup said he was turned away by the referee when he tried to question him about the failure to award Northwich Victoria a penalty in the 2-2 draw with Stone Old Alleynians.

The Vics manager felt ‘a blatant’ penalty should have been given for a shove by the home goalkeeper in the closing stages of the first half in the Midland Football League Premier Division game at King’s Park on Tuesday, August 15.

But Pickup was not happy about being waved away by the official.

The controversial moment on the field came in the last minute of the opening stanza when a clearance from keeper Raajan Gill led to a scramble between him and Vics’ Niall Sultan, leading to a challenge which referee Kurt Bartlett deemed to be fair.

Vics were trailing 1-0 at the time.

Pickup said: “I’m not one to blame officials, but in the first half the penalty on Niall Sultan – how on earth is that not a penalty?

“It was a shove in the back from the goalkeeper, he shoved him right on the floor.

“You get the easy decision right, for me, and I think that was a blatant penalty.

“I went up to the referee afterwards and said ‘Can I have a chat with you?’ “Politely I asked ‘Can I ask you a question?’ and he went ‘No, no, go away, you’re not allowed to talk to me.’ “I said ‘Why not?’ and he said ‘I don’t want you to talk to me’.

“From that perspective, I was disappointed because respect both ways is gained.”

Pickup added: “That’s not the reason why we drew the game, but it certainly doesn’t help.”

Vics ended up twice coming back from a goal behind to earn their second point of the season, having also drawn their opening league game of the season at home against Studley in similar fashion.