Black Cats boss slams of­fi­cial’s de­ci­sions

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Peter Thomp­son

ATENSE en­counter at The Sta­dium of Light saw both teams have a man sent off in a goal­less draw that does lit­tle to aid the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion hopes of Sun­der­land and Luton Town.

Chris Maguire fired the hosts ahead in the first half, while James Collins equalised with a penalty after the break, be­fore the con­test de­scended into chaos.

Luton saw Danny Hyl­ton re­ceive his march­ing or­ders after ref­eree Lee Probert be­lieved the striker had used an el­bow when jostling for pos­ses­sion with Jack Bald­win. Maguire then turned from hero to vil­lain as he was shown a straight red card in added time for an ap­par­ent stamp on Alan McCor­mack.

But in the opin­ion of Black Cats boss Jack Ross, nei­ther of the play­ers de­served to see red.

Ross said: “I don’t think ei­ther of them were red cards.

“I don’t think Danny Hyl­ton’s was a red – if any­thing the chal­lenge later on when James Collins was cau­tioned for was more of a red card. I’m not say­ing he should’ve been sent off, but if you look at Danny Hyl­ton’s chal­lenge I think it was a cau­tion.

“Chris Maguire was sent off for a stamp, which he did not do.

“I don’t want this to de­flect from any de­fi­cien­cies in our per­for­mance, but there were some poor de­ci­sions made.

“Hav­ing watched it back and hav­ing heard from the fourth of­fi­cial why he was sent off, the two things don’t marry to­gether, so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see what their rea­son­ing is if we ap­peal

it.” It was Sun­der­land’s 10th draw of the sea­son, and Ross added: “When we don’t win games at home we’re dis­ap­pointed and frus­trated. But we were play­ing against a good team, a team that are where they are in the league and there for a rea­son.”

Luton were in the care­taker charge of Mick Har­ford, the club hero re­plac­ing Nathan Jones fol­low­ing his mid­week de­par­ture to take charge at Stoke City, and he was sym­pa­thetic to­wards Hyl­ton.

Har­ford, no stranger to the ref­eree’s note­book dur­ing his play­ing days as a com­bat­ive striker, was sym­pa­thetic to Hyl­ton and said the Hat­ters may ap­peal against Probert’s de­ci­sion.

“Danny is de­stroyed about it. We’ll ap­peal it if we can and get him ready for Tues­day,” said Har­ford, whose side play at home to Sh­effield Wed­nes­day in an FA Cup re­play.

Har­ford was proud of his team after earn­ing a point to stay sec­ond in League One, ex­tend­ing their un­beaten run to 14 matches.

He said: “We have a good group of play­ers who have had a set­back this week, and the game was above the level of in­ten­sity and qual­ity and it was an ex­cit­ing game.

“It was two teams try­ing to get pro­moted in front of nearly 40,000 in League One.

“I’ve come in and tried to gal­vanise the play­ers a bit, they’ve taken on board what I’ve said. I thought they were mag­nif­i­cent.”

The Hat­ters started the game well, forc­ing Black Cats goal­keeper Jon McLaugh­lin into an ex­cel­lent save fol­low­ing an ef­fort by An­drew Shin­nie

That miss was to prove costly for the Hat­ters as Maguire put Sun­der­land ahead after 16 min­utes when he slot­ted into the cor­ner of the net, after Lyn­den Gooch’s shot was blocked.

The vis­i­tors tried to claw their way back into the game be­fore the break, and McLaugh­lin was called on to deny James Collins

Luton lev­elled mid­way through the sec­ond half after ref­eree Lee Probert ad­judged Collins to have been tripped by Jack Bald­win, with Collins then step­ping up to score the equal­izer.

SUN­DER­LAND: McLaugh­lin 8, O’Nien 6, Bald­win 5, Flana­gan 6, James 6 (Oviedo 87, 5), McGeouch 6, Power 7, McGeady 7, Maguire 6, Gooch 6 (Mgunga-Kim­pioka 79, 6), Wyke 6. Subs not used: Matthews, Oz­turk, Ruiter, Mumba, Dunne.

LUTON TOWN: Shea 7, Stacey 6, Bradley 6, Pear­son 6, Justin 7, McCor­mack 8, Mpanzu 6, Shin­nie 7, Lee 6 (Berry 79, 6), Hyl­ton 5, Collins 8. Subs not used: Thorne, Potts, LuaLua, Jones, Isted, Shee­han.

OFF: Ref­eree Lee Probert shows Luton’s Danny Hyl­ton the red card


SHOUT IT OUT: Luton’s James Collins cel­e­brates his equal­is­ing penalty and, in­set, in­terim boss Mick Har­ford ap­plauds fans

EARLY HOPE: Sun­der­land’s play­ers cel­e­brate with Chris Maguire after he scores

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