Preston’s winner came from the penalty spot in added on time at the end of the first half after Billy Bodin had gone down inside the box, with Adkins and his players adamant that referee Stephen Martin was wrong to point to the spot.
“There’s no debate, it wasn’t a penalty,” said Adkins, who had seen his side take the lead courtesy of Jarrod Bowen’s 13th goal of the season.
“We started the game very well and I thought we were the dominant force against a good side in Preston North End. We took the lead with a good goal from our point of view, but then we switched off at a corner and one of our players hasn’t done his job to mark the man. That was frustrating.
“Then, bang on half time, it’s never a penalty. The referee has got to speak to his assistant there – he would have had a far better view of it – but he didn’t speak to him. It’s never a penalty and it changed the whole complexion of the game.
“It was a poor refereeing decision. All of the officials are wired up for communication – use the assistant, it’s what he’s there for. He wouldn’t have given it as a penalty. I’m disappointed and I’m disappointed for my players.
“To be fair, Preston then started the second half better than us before we made some tactical changes and were better for the second half of the second half. We should have had a penalty when Evandro saw a ball blocked by hands but the referee didn’t see it, so we’re disappointed that we didn’t get the fortune that we deserved.”
Adkins confirmed after the game that Michael Dawson and Kamil Grosicki were both missing through injuries that they have played with in recent games.