The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Peter Lawrence

HE BRANDED Gabriele An­gella’s early red card a joke, but Wat­ford manager Slav­isa Jokanovic was not laugh­ing af­ter they left Bournemouth empty-handed on Fri­day night.

An­gella was given his march­ing or­ders in­side the open­ing 30 sec­onds at Dean Court af­ter haul­ing down Cal­lum Wil­son – de­spite Craig Cath­cart ap­pear­ing to of­fer a fur­ther line of de­fence.

The Cher­ries cap­i­talised on their nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage as Matt Ritchie added to Yann Ker­mor­gant’s penalty to move three points clear at the top of the Cham­pi­onship overnight.

Jokanovic was clearly an­gered by the sit­u­a­tion, but ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of con­fronting ref­eree Lee Probert – in the in­ter­est of sav­ing a few quid.

“Peo­ple of­ten speak with the ref­eree but I don’t un­der­stand why, it makes lit­tle sense,” he said. “They make big mis­takes and that is it.

“He won’t tell me sorry or ex­plain his mis­takes, so it doesn’t make any sense.

“I would rather go home and pre­pare for the next game.

“So what is the point? Foot­ball must be a spec­ta­cle and con­grat­u­la­tions to Bournemouth, they played bet­ter than us and de­served the three points.

“But af­ter 25 sec­onds, to have a sit­u­a­tion like that, it is a joke. It is bet­ter for me not to have an opin­ion.

“If you re­ally wanted me to an­swer you it would cost me a lot of money and my con­tract isn’t that big.

“I can’t re­ally make any com­ment about the sit­u­a­tion but it was wrong and strange. It put us in trou­ble.

“It wasn’t good for us, our sup­port­ers and for all foot­ball sup­port­ers. That’s it, it is that sim­ple.

“If I talk any more then I might make a mis­take.”

The key mo­ment came af­ter just 28 sec­onds when de­fender An­gella lunged in on Wil­son and, de­spite ap­pear­ing not to be the last man, was shown a straight red card.

Wil­son was again in­volved ten min­utes be­fore the break when he was brought down in­side the box by Cath­cart, al­low­ing Ker­mor­gant to step up and hand Bournemouth the lead from 12 yards.

Ritchie then dou­bled the lead shortly be­fore the hour mark with an an­gled fin­ish past Heurelho Gomes and there was no way back for the Hor­nets.

And Bournemouth boss Ed­die Howe, whose side re­turned to win­ning ways af­ter back-to­back de­feats in the league and the FA Cup, con­ceded the game’s defin­ing mo­ment had taken the gloss off an en­tic­ing con­test.

“I think I would have been dis­ap­pointed,” he said. “The tim­ing of it was a bit­ter pill to swallow for Wat­ford be­cause the game had just started.

“Both teams were look­ing for­ward to what would have been a good battle and tus­sle be­tween two re­ally good foot­balling sides and the game to­tally changed on that mo­ment.

“I’m not sure how high the tackle was or why the ref­eree pro­duced the red card. I would have been slightly dis­ap­pointed with the tim­ing of it, and whether Cal­lum was ever go­ing to catch the ball.

“It was a dif­fi­cult one for the ref­eree be­cause it was so early in the game and he had to make a big call.

“He took his time over the de­ci­sion and didn’t pro­duce the red card rashly so he ob­vi­ously thought about it and maybe con­sulted his lines­man.

“For us, it changed the game. We were nervy starters, there was no deny­ing that. It was al­most as if the ten men had added a pres­sure for us.

“We didn’t re­ally re­spond to that as well as we would have hoped.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

KICK­ING OFF: Wat­ford’s Gabriele An­gella reacts to his first-minute red card by kick­ing the wa­ter bot­tles as he makes his way off. Inset: Matt Ritchie scores

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