BOSS Jonathan Woodgate bemoaned the decision to award Brentford a penalty as the key moment in Cherries' heartbreaking play-off loss to Brentford.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg of their semi-final, Cherries doubled their advantage through Arnaut Danjuma in just the fifth minute in west London.

However, Brentford pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, Ivan Toney tucking home after Lloyd Kelly was penalised for a handball in the penalty area.

Chris Mepham was sent off shortly afterwards, before the Bees sealed a 3-1 win on the day with second-half goals from Vitaly Janelt and Marcus Forss, progressing 3-2 on aggregate.

Discussing the defeat, Woodgate said: "Absolutely devastated to be honest with you, the players are as well.

"All from a referee’s decision which I can’t, for the life of me, work out how he’s given a penalty.

"When it comes off his (Kelly's) thigh and hits his arm, what are you supposed to do? Okay if he gives that then look at Ethan Pinnock in the box when it hits his hand.

"I think it got the better of the referee. I thought the fans got on top of him, I thought their coaches got on top of him, even before the game they were at him.

"The linesman doesn’t give it and the linesman’s looking directly at it, that’s what I can’t understand. How does the linesman not give it and the referee is looking through players.

"Honestly, it’s beyond me how he gives it and that changes the game. That gets the fans right up for it and then we make an error which is a red card and then it’s difficult. It’s difficult coming here with 11 men, never mind 10."

Asked if there should be video assistant referees used for play-off games, Woodgate added: "If you’re going to do VAR, it needs to be at the start of the season. You can’t just change the rules halfway through the season. It needs to be either at the start of the season or not at all.

"It’s the league and there’s decisions that can be made earlier on. Brentford might not have got in the play-offs if they had VAR earlier on, because they might’ve had goals cancelled and things like that, so you can’t change the rules like that.

"But what you can do, we had a top referee when we played Norwich, a Premier League referee. Give us a Premier League referee in these situations, these are big games and for that decision, it’s beyond me really. It’s beyond me. But they’re the fine margins in games."