No joy for ex-Wanderer Robinson at the Reebok

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

PAUL Robinson reckoned his Birmingham team-mate Steven Caldwell was unlucky to give away the penalty that secured a much-needed victory for Wanderers at the Reebok on Saturday.

Caldwell was penalised for handball in the 79th minute – a decision which gave Keith Andrews the chance to give the Whites a decisive 3-1 lead from the penalty spot.

It made for an unhappy Reebok return for full-back Robinson, who sympathised with Caldwell.

“Stevie’s arm was up in the air and with a lot of referees, you know what is coming,” he said. “The same happened to him at Barnsley. It’s one of those things, as a defender you naturally jump with your arms up but it’s that close, how do you get out of the way?

“I have seen a lot of incidents on telly recently with people handballing when the ball has come towards them from distance and it isn’t given. This was two yards.

“It’s difficult but we knew what the referee was going to do.”

Robinson was at a loss to explain how Birmingham’s game-plan went awry.

After going a goal up early on, it looked like being a perfect away performance from the Blues, who went into the game on a three-match unbeaten run. But Marcos Alonso’s equaliser was a blow from which the visitors never recovered.

“It was a strange game because we were very dominant for the first 20 minutes against a team that we knew liked to keep the ball,” said Robinson, who left Wanderers in the summer after three years and 87 appearances.

“We frustrated them for large parts and got the goal, which helped, but then went backwards again. I don’t know what went wrong.

“For 20 minutes they kept kicking the ball out, so that showed just how much we’d frustrated them as a team but for some reason it just changed.”

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