LEWIS Grabban was convinced Cherries had been on the wrong end of a contentious refereeing decision during their 1-1 draw with Championship high-fliers Burnley on Saturday.

Grabban was sent to ground following a 79th-minute challenge by Clarets defender Kieran Trippier – with the infringement appearing to have been committed inside the penalty area.

However, although referee Graham Scott deemed Trippier had fouled Grabban, the official awarded Cherries a free kick on the edge of the 18-yard box, which Yann Kermorgant subsequently put over the crossbar.

The incident came after Keith Treacy had come off the bench to salvage a point for the visitors, his close-range strike cancelling out Cherries’ 51st-minute opener which had been credited to Tokelo Rantie.

Grabban told the Daily Echo: “I thought it was inside the box. As Matt Ritchie played the ball over, the right-back ran across me and stopped me getting it.

“I thought I was inside the area because I was at least five yards in when I was on the floor so we were hard done by not to get a penalty. Maybe the referee saw it from a different angle but we were very unfortunate.”

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson watched several re-runs of the incident on their Soccer Saturday programme and said he also felt Cherries should have been awarded a spot kick.

Asked for his view, Cherries boss Eddie Howe said: “From my first look, I wasn’t even sure it should have been a free kick so I am not going to kick up too much of a fuss. If it was a free kick, I thought it was potentially going to be inside the box but I would need to see it again.”

And Clarets manager Sean Dyche told the Daily Echo: “I didn’t think it was a free kick and I asked the referee. I think there was cross communication between the ref and the linesman. I think they agreed that afterwards and were honest in letting me know that.”

Grabban, who saw his shot from a tight angle saved by Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton during the second half, said he felt Cherries had deserved to win.

“I thought it was two points dropped,” added the 25-year-old. “We switched off for their goal but it was still a bit fluky.

“The Championship is still a bit of a learning curve for us and we came away with a point against the team which were second in the table. We were disappointed not to get all three.”