Wilkin saw the holders lose Saturday’s quarter-final tie with Leyton Orient 2-1 at St James Park where Hulme’s howler denied top scorer Lee Ndlovu an almost certain second goal when he failed to play a simple advantage. Ndlovu had been fouled but recovered to get into the box with just keeper Dean Brill to beat but the whistle had gone far too soon.
Wilkin said: “There were one or two contentious refereeing decisions but even if you take that out of the equation we should still have won it. Lee [Ndlovu] was just ten yards out with only the keeper to beat and I just can’t understand why the referee had to blow so quickly, it was a guilt-edged chance for Lee.
“Orient kept going and we’ve made a mistake near the end We still had a chance to equalise in stoppage-time and you need those moments to go for you against the big teams in these games.”