The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Sam Con­way

GRANT McCann be­lieves a ‘bot­tle’ job from fourth of­fi­cial Rob Smith nearly cost his side a share of the spoils af­ter Peterborough midfielder Jer­maine An­der­son re­ceived a bizarre red card.

Af­ter a life­less first half, Ro­maine Sawyers put the Sad­dlers ahead with a stun­ning strike on 53 min­utes, but sub­sti­tute Michael Bost­wick hit a late lev­eller af­ter be­ing brought down by Neil Etheridge.

But in an ex­tra­or­di­nary end to the game, An­der­son saw red mo­ments be­fore Bost­wick’s equaliser for throw­ing a wa­ter bot­tle into the crowd – though seem­ingly with­out in­tent – and then Sam Man­tom was de­nied a Sad­dlers win­ner by the cross­bar.

The fi­asco grated with care­taker boss McCann, who is ex­pected to re­main in charge into next week af­ter Posh chair­man Dar­ragh MacAn­thony re­vealed he’d whit­tled down his man­age­rial short­list to two men.

“For me, it was a ridicu­lous de­ci­sion,” said McCann. “The physio gave him some wa­ter to help his cramp and he just threw the bot­tle back, missed the physio and it went into the crowd. The fourth of­fi­cial spoke to the ref­eree and said it was vi­o­lent con­duct.

“It was a de­ci­sion I’ve never seen be­fore in my life and we will def­i­nitely ap­peal it. Hope­fully com­mon sense will pre­vail.

“We had some good op­por­tu­ni­ties and could have won the game, but prob­a­bly a fair re­sult in the end.

“I’m lov­ing the job. I’m al­ways learn­ing. It would be foolish to say I’m not learn­ing ev­ery day. I’ll speak to the chair­man later and I’m sure I’ll know a bit more then.”

Reece Flana­gan found space on the edge of the area early on, but the Wal­sall midfielder dragged his shot inches past Ben Al­nwick’s left-hand post.

Erhun Oz­tumer came clos­est for the home side in the first half, but his curl­ing 20-yard ef­fort was saved by Etheridge.

The game livened up in the 53rd minute af­ter Sawyers picked up the ball and fired a 25-yard screamer into the top cor­ner.

It looked as if the score­line would stay that way un­til a last mad­cap five min­utes, start­ing with An­der­son’s bizarre red card ant the hands of ref­eree Mark Hey­wood and fourth of­fi­cial Smith.

Posh ral­lied mo­ments later as sub­sti­tute Bost­wick smashed home the penalty af­ter be­ing up­ended by Etheridge. In the dy­ing mo­ments Al­nwick pulled off a great save from Sawyers and Man­tom struck the bar, but Posh held on.

“I’m feel­ing a bit de­flated, it feels like a de­feat,” said Wal­sall boss Dean Smith, whose side missed out on the chance to go top of League One.

“How we haven’t won that, I don’t know.We took the lead with a great strike, we con­trolled the game for long pe­ri­ods but pos­si­bly didn’t work their goal­keeper as much as we should.

“Then their lad (An­der­son) gets sent off. I feel sorry for him, but you can’t do that.

“He didn’t mean to, but he’s just flung the bot­tle into the crowd. It could have taken some­body’s eye out.”

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