Certainly City did everything but score and even had a goal controversially ruled out before Sergei Rebrov sunk them with the last-minute winner.
City boss Royle certainly felt hard done by after referee Steve Dunn’s decision to rule out Darren Huckerby’s strike early in the second half — although he was at pains to point out that he felt Dunn had a good game. Replays later suggested any contact with Neil Sullivan was by Sol Campbell.
“Sometimes you need a break and I'm told by all the players and by the cameras that there was nothing wrong with the goal,” said Royle.
“So for the second week running we have suffered. We have had two perfectly good goals disallowed and that would have made a big difference because they were causing us no threat at the time at all.
“I thought the referee had a good game, but the one decision he's probably got wrong has cost us dearly because if we had taken the lead I couldn't have seen them getting back into it.
“I saw a ball coming in and a challenge on the keeper. But the challenger on the keeper is apparently Sol Campbell, but the referee has told me it was Shaun Goater.
“It's a cruel game at times and that's two big decisions in two weeks which have cost us dearly.”
Joe Royle admitted he couldn’t ask any more of his players after our smash and grab raid at Maine Road.