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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Fulham Winner Frustrates Stubbs

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Alan Stubbs felt a contentious refereeing decision cost Everton Under-21s a share of the spoils in their clash with Fulham on Monday evening.

Stubbs was left questioning Muamer Tankovic’s injury-time winner, which he was not convinced crossed the line.

Everton skipper Tyias Browning appeared to have kicked the ball clear but the goal was awarded by the officials, earning the Cottagers a 2-1 comeback victory.

“The lads deserved more than what they got out of the game,” Stubbs told “The goal - is it across the line or not? It’s one of them. I’ve seen the replay about four times and it’s inconclusive.

“I didn’t see that result coming. It was a harsh one to take for the lads because I thought the referee had a major part to play in Fulham coming back into the game.

“I’m happy with the way the lads have gone about it but disappointed with the result. Usually when you get beat it’s because of a number of things but the things that went against us tonight, we could do nothing about.

“In recent weeks we have been playing attacking football but tonight we wanted them to be more disciplined, get behind the ball and show a different side. For the majority of the game the lads did that and we frustrated Fulham. They ran out of ideas.”

The 2-1 reverse was the second string’s first defeat in three months.

Stubbs refused to dwell on the result and insisted that attention will now turn towards starting another unbeaten run in Monday 16 December's mini Merseyside derby at Southport.

He continued: "Our next game is against Liverpool and we’ve got to dust ourselves down. It’s a blip and nothing major.

“It’s just disappointing because of the way we have lost the game in the end, but we move on.”

Stubbs also confirmed that Hallam Hope and Conor Grant missed the Fulham game through injury.

Hope is expected to return for the Liverpool clash after suffering a minor hamstring strain but Grant will be sidelined until the new year with a stress fracture in his lower back.

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