Following Fulham’s late defeat to Newcastle United, Cottagers boss Lawrie Sanchez said on Setanta Sports that he would not be condemnng referee Howard Webb’s awarding of a stoppage-time penalty.

Joey Barton buried the spot-kick to consign Sanchez’s men to another defeat.

“Yeah probably, I mean the lad’s dived and hasn’t made contact, the ball was away when he contacted him…I’m seen them given, so I’ve got no real arguments with that to be honest,” Sanchez said after the game.

He was full of sympathy for young defender Elliot Omozusi, who had a 19th birthday to forget, after bringing Alan Smith down in the area.

“I thought he was excellent today, I thought the team were excellent in the second half, I mean it’s a very cruel game for words, and it’s just shown you there was only one team ever going to win that second half,” Sanchez continued.

“With about 20 minutes to go, I think Sam had settled for the draw, and was hoping to hold on for the draw.

“We entered their penalty box thirty times to their ten in the second half, there was only one team in it. We were creating everything, having better chances, I was disappointed to end up with a point. Ultimately, I’m disappointed it’s gone even worse, because we’ve ended up with nothing.

“We out-crossed them, we out-shot them, we did everything beyond out-score them, and then a long kick down the middle and it gets away from young Elliot.

“And you know, he has a dive at the bloke and the referee gives a penalty, as I say, it is symptomatic of our season, it’s been a cruel season so far.”

Fulham have now gone five games without a win, and their next game against Wigan could be crucial.

“I’m not having a good Christmas at this time, and unless we get a win against Wigan I’m going to have a very bad Christmas,” Sanchez admitted.