Sheridan slams ref as well as stupid red
JOHN Sheridan did not know who to be more angry with after seeing nine-man Oldham’s resurgence ended at Walsall – referee John Brooks or his own player Lee Croft.
Croft’s early dismissal for a reckless, studs-up challenge on Walsall’s Jason McCarthy left the Latics to play 74 minutes with ten men.
They battled manfully and deserved at least a point but were denied when Brooks awarded a late penalty against Peter Clarke for a foul on Simeon Jackson.
Erhun Oztumer scored from the spot and Amadou Bakayoko sealed the win in injury-time, with Brian Wilson’s second yellow reducing Oldham to nine men in between.
Sheridan seethed: “Obviously the sending off hasn’t helped us so early in the game. I’m very disappointed with Crofty.
“I’ve got no qualms about it. It was a stupid tackle. He’s let himself down and he’s let the team down.
“But late on it’s never a penalty. Peter gets the ball. And it’s a clear foul on Aaron Holloway in the build-up. How the officials don’t see them, I don’t know.
“I am sick to death of it and no wonder managers lose it sometimes.
“We dug in to take it to the break 0-0 and did really well in the second half with ten men. I thought we were right in the game up until the penalty.”
Oldham were five unbeaten going into the game, moving out of the bottom four in the process, but Croft’s 16th-minute red card gave them a mountain to climb.
They kept Walsall quiet until the break, keeper Connor Ripley only called into real action once with a fine close-range block from Kieron Morris.
Ten-man Oldham were the better side after the interval and Tope Obadeyi’s freekick shaved the post before Oztumer put Walsall ahead from the spot.
Wilson then saw a second yellow for clashing with Bakayoko, who sealed the points with an absolute humdinger from the edge of the box in time added on.
Walsall remain outsiders for a play-off spot and boss Jon Whitney said: “We have won five straight at home now and I think that’s the best one of the five, all things considered.
“It’s very difficult when a team banks in against you and we’ve not had it for a while.
“The sendings-off added an expectancy and put us in a bit of a lose-lose situation.
“Some teams don’t handle it. Manchester United couldn’t break Bournemouth down.”
STAR MAN TOPE OBADEYI Oldham