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The Blades were denied a clear penalty and reduced to ten men in a fiery FA Cup clash with Fulham and the hosts' coach says official Andre Marriner cost his side as they drew 1-1

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough questioned the refereeing display of Andre Marriner as his side failed to hold onto their lead in Sunday's 1-1 FA Cup draw against Fulham.

The Blades went ahead midway through the first half through Chris Porter and looked set to hold firm before captain Michael Doyle was sent off for a clash with Chris David.

The League One outfit remained a threat despite their numerical disadvantage, but were unable to keep a persistent Cottagers outfit at bay as Hugo Rodallega fired home the equaliser from outside the area in the second half.

Clough suggested that the sending off was harsh, and was critical of the decision not to award his side a penalty when 1-0 up after Aaron Hughes appeared to stamp on Ryan Flynn inside the area.

"I asked Ryan if there was contact and he said there was, so work that one out," he told reporters. @We should have had that second goal with the penalty."

Clough added that he spoke with his captain after the match and that they both felt the decision to send him off was harsh.

"I just asked him 'did you touch him' and he said yes but that he didn't feel that there was sufficient contact for a sending off.

"Andre is one of the nicest guys you'll meet but some of his decisions today frustrated us."

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen admitted that his side were fortunate to still be in the competition after the penalty decision, but believes the experience was a valuable one for his young players.

"I've seen it again. It could have been given. In hindsight, you could say that we’re maybe a little bit lucky to still be in the cup because they had that penalty shout.

"They (Sheffield United) gave it their all and got their noses in front. We didn't produce enough quality to get the second goal. If there are positives to take out of the game, it is that we are still in FA Cup and the young players did well."

Darren Bent missed an open goal from two yards out to seal the tie late on and Meulensteen couldn’t hide his disappointment.

"It's a poor miss. That's how he has made his livelihood, goalscoring. He was disappointed with it himself."

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