STEPHEN Warnock did not mince his words when describing the moment Wanderers ’ fortunes turned on his club debut.

Making his first start since arriving from Aston Villa on loan, the full-back felt the Whites were denied a stonewall penalty in the first half when defender Darcy Blake handballed a Mark Davies header directly in front of his own goal.

Referee Geoff Eltringham waved away the appeals, later confirming to Owen Coyle that he had not seen the incident, but that certainly did not ease the feeling of injustice in the home dressing room, not least for the debut boy.

“The first one was an absolute disgrace,” he said of the apparent handball. “I could see from where I was that it was a handball and I think everyone in the stadium saw it apart from the linesman and the referee. That’s the disappointing thing because that could have swung the game completely in our favour.

“How he hasn’t spotted it... but then they are the decisions that are going against us at the moment. They are also the ones that will start turning in our favour.”

As it happened, a penalty awarded at the other end settled the game, when ref Eltringham adjudged that Zat Knight had clipped Wilfried Zaha with 10 minutes remaining.

And while Warnock felt his team-mate was unlucky, he had seen first hand that Zaha and his wing partner Yannick Bolasie were hard to handle.

“I think he saw Zat coming across and he was waiting for the touch,” he said of Zaha. “He was waiting to go down.

“I was waiting for it and I knew myself that as soon as he backed me into the box he was going to go down.

“I think when you look at the two lads on the wings, they’ve got cracking feet, they are good players. But they are happy to go down.

“The thing is, if you invite the challenge, they’ll try their luck.”

Warnock was drafted into the starting line-up after Marcos Alonso picked up an injury, playing his first senior game of the season after being frozen out completely at Villa Park.

And though his first game was spoiled by the result, the former England man is convinced there is enough about Owen Coyle’s squad to avoid a permanent slump.

“There are more games and time to make up points,” he said. “We just have to be patient ourselves and learn to win and shut games out.

“We need to be more clinical and we’ve been working on it all week, putting the ball in the back of the net.

“The chances are there, and that’s the good thing. Hopefully we can start putting the ball away more and putting the game to bed.

“It was my first game for a long time and I certainly need to get a bit more fitness out of it.

“I think there is more to come, I know that, but I can’t complain too much.”