FUMING ROSS SEES RED AT REF’S OFF DAY
Black Cats boss slams official’s decisions
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