BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer had mixed emotions after the thrilling 3-3 draw at Watford.

While Bowyer praised the quality of the goals his side scored at Vicarage Road on Tuesday he was less enamoured by their defending.

But he saved his biggest criticism for referee Darren Sheldrake’s decision to hand the Hornets a controversial penalty when Rovers were leading and in control.

Troy Deeney scored the resulting spot-kick, awarded after an Ikechi Anya cross into the box hit the arm of Todd Kane, and Watford seemed set to snatch the points when Cristian Battocchio netted on the breakaway with two minutes of normal time to play.

But Rovers, who earlier had cancelled out Marco Cassetti’s soft opener to go in front through fine finishes from David Dunn and Craig Conway, equalised in injury-time thanks to a towering header from Rudy Gestede.

“The standard of our three goals was quality,” said Bowyer.

“But we gifted them their goals. The marking wasn’t good enough for the first one, the third one was a counter-attack after it was our throw-in, and with the penalty for the second one, I’m totally disappointed.

“The rule needs to get sorted once and for all about what is handball and what is not handball.

“Their lad is two yards away and he’s smashed it at Todd, what can he do?

“These things go for you or go against you and tonight we’ve been the victim of them going against us again and I think we’ve had a lot of that this season, which is disappointing.”

Gestede’s last-gasp leveller dashed Watford’s hopes of making it seven straight home victories while Dunn’s 50th league strike for Rovers was the first goal the Hornets had conceded at home in nearly 11 hours of football.

Bowyer added: “They’ve won their last six and not conceded so to come here and score three – and we could have scored more – we’ve got to be pleased how we performed.”