BURNLEY skipper Tom Heaton revealed he asked referee Anthony Taylor to explain his decisions during their mid-match chat on Saturday.

Taylor had just booked Phil Bardsley for a challenge minutes after turning down a Clarets penalty appeal when Ashley Barnes was felled by Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy.

Barnes was booked for diving although Burnley did get a penalty, their first in 68 league games, in stoppage time which Barnes converted to earn a 1-1 draw.

And Heaton, who as captain went to speak to Taylor during a break in play, said: “It is a tough job refereeing, he saw it one way. I had a chat to him when everything was sort of kicking off a little bit and it is tough.

“It looked like a penalty from where I was but he saw one thing and it is difficult. We can whinge about it, I think it was a penalty, it looked like a penalty but he didn’t give it and it is unfortunate.

“In fairness he gave his explanation to everyone, he felt he (Barnes) was off balance. I think that was his idea.

“He felt he was off balance and saw him coming and that just helped him over rather than he was actually taken down.

“In fairness to Barnesy I think he brought the ball down with his leg out and he is on one leg anyway so he probably would have been off balance but it still means it is a penalty but as I say it is a tough role.

“I try and give them the respect they deserve but it is a tough job and I think they do a great job really.”

Taylor then did award the Clarets a stoppage time penalty after Jack Stephens handled the ball under pressure from substitute Peter Crouch.

“It did hit his hand I think so he has given us that one,” said Heaton.

“Barnesy has tucked that one away and fair play to him because it is the last minute of the game, it is a big game, it is a massive moment and to stand up with his chest out and stick it in the corner, then fair play to him.

“When we got into the dressing room the lads were full of praise for him and rightly so because that is a big moment and it takes a man to step up and take that.

“He was lively all game, he put himself about, he was creating chances and following things in. He is (doing) great at the minute.”