Bob Peeters was baffled by the award of a free-kick which led to Derby’s late winner in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening.

His young Charlton side crashed out of the competition after keeper Nick Pope was penalised by referee Graham Salisbury, who awarded the home side an indirect free-kick on the edge of Charlton’s area with under three minutes left on the clock.

The Addicks failed to clear the set piece which Chris Martin ferried back into the box before squaring to substitute Ivan Calero, who finished with aplomb into the top corner.

Peeters said: “You can fight everybody, but you can’t fight the referee.

“It’s the first time in 22 years I’ve witnessed this.

“I don’t think the ref fancied extra-time, I think he needed to go home to his missus!

“If it’s time wasting, he needs to put it inside the box and then it’s an indirect free-kick inside the box.

“We thought maybe it was handball but we saw the images, there was no handball involved.

“After the game, he (the referee) couldn’t give me an explanation as well.”

You could not begrudge the Rams victory after a dominant second half performance, but the manner of defeat was tough to take for Charlton’s Belgian head coach.

The first half had been a slightly more even affair.

Franck Moussa and George Tucadean tested Derby keeper Lee Grant from range before the chance of the half fell to Leon Best, who’s powerful 20-yard drive was magnificently pushed around the post by the impressive Pope in the Charlton goal.

The second half saw Martin enter the fray for the hosts and his dangerous ball across the six-yard box nearly led to a goal for Calero on 82 minutes, before the pair combined again a five minutes later to produce the controversial winner.

Peeters was happy overall with his youthful side’s overall performance.

“I’m very disappointed for my young team, especially for the first 60 minutes because they gave everything they had and then they were doing very well.

“And then if you have to lose like this, it’s painful for them.

“But again I’m very proud with the way we stood our ground today.”

A marked improvement from the display in the weekend 1-1 draw with Huddersfield was a big positive for Peeters.

He added: “I’m more happy than last Saturday, where we get a point, because of the way we put it about today.

“All the players who came in the team showed me that we need to consider them maybe playing.

“I’m very proud that I can bank on them.

“They show me every day on training but especially in these games where it’s tough.

“Away at Derby is a very tough game.

“They showed me that I can bank on them every second.”

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