GRAYSON FURY AT REF ERROR
HUDDERSFIELD ..0 SHEFF WED ......0
AFRENETIC Yorkshire derby was sparked by controversy when Sheffield Wednesday’s Jeremy Helan was booked twice yet wasn’t sent off, leaving Simon Grayson calling for match officials to publicly explain their decisions.
Referee Mick Russell showed the French winger a yellow card for diving in the eighth minute, and a second when he tripped Huddersfield’s Adam Hammill 17 minutes later.
But he failed to produce a red card and the on-loan Manchester City man went on to complete the full 90 minutes. It later transpired Russell had mistakenly written the number of Helan’s team-mate Michail Antonio in his book following the first booking.
After a game of little goalmouth action, the incident was the major talking point for Huddersfield manager Grayson and his Sheffield Wednesday equivalent Dave Jones.
And it drew contrasting postmatch reactions from the John Smith’s Stadium, with Grayson left bemused and Jones aghast that the Owls hadn’t been given a penalty when Helan was first booked.
“As we came off the pitch the ref came to me to apologise for the error he made,” revealed Grayson.
“I think he’s probably written the wrong number down in his book which is staggering. I also think he should have been helped by his officials who should be overruling because they all know, when a referee makes a mistake like that, who he’s booking.
“He’s not done it deliberately, but you can’t make major mistakes like that.
“He’s put Antonio’s number in his book, but he was nowhere near the incident. I don’t mind referee’s making big mistakes in terms of tackles and sending’s off, but something quite simple like that shouldn’t be hap- pening at this level.”
“I’m not going to say Wednesday going down to ten men would have guaranteed us winning the game, but it would have certainly helped us and what if the lad had gone on to score or created the winning goal?
“Referees in general should be accountable for any decisions and have a press conference after the game, whether good decisions or bad decisions. It shouldn’t be for me or Dave Jones to explain.”
Eight minutes in Alex Smithies produced a smart save to keep out Helan’s strike and the home keeper was then alert to stop a David Prutton volley.
A minute before the break Grayson’s men created their first opportunity when Chris Kirkland – making his 250th club career start – thwarted Simon Church.
Both sides had late chances as Town’s James Vaughan fired wide and Wednesday’s Mamady Sidibe drew a save from Smithies.
Jones refused to accept Helan should have been dismissed though, claiming his side had been denied a spot kick in the first incident.
“It was a penalty,” he said. “I don’t know about the booking but it was a clear penalty.
“That is the controversy - he should give it. It’s a clear penalty for me, a big decision to make and he has got it wrong.
“Michail got the yellow, he said Michail made the dive.The referee missed a penalty early on, and if that is at home we get that.
“Defensively we were solid and on the break we caused them all sorts of problems.
“The lads are working really hard, and they are getting their rewards for sticking at it when we went through a bad patch..”
STALEMATE: James Vaughan of Huddersfield and Anthony Gardner of Wednesday in action
ERROR: Referee Mick Russell and Jeremy Helan