Gary Rowett has admitted that Zian Flemming’s robust challenge in the lead up to Millwall’s second goal at Plymouth could easily have been pulled up as a foul.
The Netherlands attacker, who opened the scoring in Devon, barged Kaine Kesler-Hayden off the ball before setting up George Saville to fire home a stoppage-time clincher.
Argyle boss Steven Schumacher said: “Kaine tries to take him on and Flemming has read him – but he has put his arm right in his face. He has forearm smashed him in the face. That isn’t allowed.”
Asked about the incident, Rowett told the South London Press: “Without putting more pressure on referees, you probably expect it to be a foul just because of where Zi’s arm was.
“He actually pinched the ball really, really well off the defender – he read his intention. Had his arm have been two or three inches lower then I don’t think there would be an issue.
“He caught him in the face. Watching it back, the lad looks up to see if it is a foul and then goes back down holding his face – so I don’t think it was quite as bad as he made out.
“If you are the defender or Steven Schumacher then you would expect a foul but I don’t think it would’ve made any difference. They will feel a little unjust at the second goal, probably.”
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