Football news - Southampton striker Charlie Austin slams 'ridiculous' officials over disallowed goal
Charlie Austin has reacted furiously after the striker was denied a crucial goal in Southampton’s 1-1 draw with Watford at St Mary’s on Saturday.
The struggling Saints were leading 1-0 when Austin found the net in the 66th minute, but referee Simon Hooper ruled it out.
In a bizarre moment, the Watford players were already walking back to the centre-circle when Mr Hooper - making only his fourth appearance as a referee in the top flight - blew his whistle signalling an offside decision.
But the ball was incorrectly deemed to have gone in off Maya Yoshida, who was beyond the last defender.
"It’s ridiculous, they shouldn’t be in the game," Austin said of the match officials on Sky Sports.
"We scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out for offside. The officials cost us two points. They said it was offside, that is a joke.
"People go on about VAR, they clearly need help. If this is the best, most-watched league in the world then give them all the help they need. It is a joke.
Jose Holebas is mobbed after scoring Watford's late equaliser at St Mary'sPA Sport
"Sure there are many positives, we worked hard, we deserved three points and we would have got that had we not been let down by the official.
"We feel like we have been let down. I started well, worked hard to be up 1-0 at half-time and we stuck to the plan.
"We didn’t get beat but we should have gotten away with three points going into the international break.
"The performance was there, we can take that away and we should manage the game. I’m angry is what it is, we should have won 2-0."
Pressure is mounting on Mark Hughes after Southampton failed to beat WatfordGetty Images
The Welshman was left frustrated after seeing the game's major talking point go against the hosts.
He said: "It is not good enough, the performance of the referee. All we want in a game is the key match-defining moments to be correct. It is a skill, a talent and a referee has to have that or they won’t be at this level. The ref today is a little inexperienced.
"At 2-0 the game is over. It is unfortunate and a bad mistake. He admitted it on the pitch. I mean for goodness sake, he needed a bit of help. These decisions affect what we are trying to do here.
"People will say they should have had a penalty, it doesn’t matter. Our keeper could’ve saved it. Our goal went in and was ruled out. At 2-0 we could manage the game out, the momentum when the goal was chalked off went to them."