ADAM Smith believes bigger clubs tend to get the benefit of refereeing calls when they play against Cherries – and says it has always been that way.

Cherries’ 2-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday was notable for referee Anthony Taylor’s decision not to send off Everton’s Andre Gomes despite repeated indiscretions.

Gomes had already been booked when he was penalised for second-half fouls on Steve Cook and Joshua King in front of a partisan crowd at Goodison Park.

And in stoppage time, the Portuguese midfielder hauled down Jefferson Lerma in the Everton penalty area, which mystifyingly brought no sanction.

Asked if Gomes had been fortunate to stay on the field, full-back Smith told the Daily Echo: “It’s difficult for refs to send off players when there is a crowd like that.

“Those decisions go against us quite a lot because we aren’t classed as a big club, so we are kind of used to it.

“It’s always happened. When bigger clubs play against us, they tend to get more decisions.

“If there is a sending off (decision to be made) like that, they don’t really do it because we are not a big club, apparently.”

After the final whistle, both managers admitted they had disagreed with key decisions made by man-in-the-middle Taylor.

Cherries boss Howe revealed his belief that Gomes had been “very lucky” not to earn a dismissal and said – based on his view at the time – that Idrissa Gana Gueye’s early challenge on David Brooks should have resulted in a penalty, although he admitted he had not seen a replay.

Everton manager Marco Silva, meanwhile, felt Joshua King had fouled Kurt Zouma in the build-up to the first-half chance which saw Brooks smack against the left post.

The home fans regularly voiced their disapproval during a match in which the Toffees were penalised for 17 fouls to Cherries’ eight.

For Smith, the outing on Merseyside represented his first Cherries appearance in two months following his recovery from a knee injury.

The return of the 27-year-old would have been a huge relief to Howe, who had lost Simon Francis to a long-term knee injury on Boxing Day.

Smith said: “It was the worst-case scenario that I could have been back in February but it was still quite difficult to get back early.

“I’m glad I’m back and that the hard work paid off.

“It was frustrating to watch the lads on a losing run when you can’t do anything about it. Hopefully, we can get back to winning ways.

“Against Everton, it wasn’t the result the team wanted but we have to take the positives and move forward.”

Cherries return to action on Saturday when they face West Ham at Vitality Stadium.