Lee Johnson annoyed with referee as Sunderland let lead slip at Fleetwood



Posted Sunday, September 19, 2021 by PA

Lee Johnson annoyed with referee as Sunderland let lead slip at Fleetwood

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson slammed the referee’s decision to award Fleetwood a last-gasp penalty after they dropped two points in a 2-2 draw.

Official Neil Hair pointed to the spot for a pull in the box which allowed Ged Garner to score Fleetwood’s 97th-minute equaliser after Callum Morton had halved the Black Cats’ two-goal advantage 10 minutes from time.

And while he was angry at his side’s inability to see out the game, it was the referee’s performance that had him the most riled.

“It was a shambles,” raged Johnson after he had watched Ross Stewart’s header and a spot-kick from Aiden McGeady put them 2-0 up and coasting with 15 minutes to play.

“You have to allow for literally a goal a game now because of bad refereeing decisions. That was the message before the game, at half-time and at the end of the game.

“It’s difficult to take because we’ve put our bodies on the line, the boys have pressed from the front and scored two good goals from our point of view. But it is what it is and we have to move on to Tuesday now.

“The first goal we conceded was a poor one from our point of view, we made a couple of mistakes and we’d had a couple of warnings with runs from out wide, we made a bad decision and left the slot and he’s capitalised when we haven’t tracked him.

“We’d probably demoralised them enough to be able to continue to have strong control in the game so if anything that’s the bit I’m angry about, but then obviously there’s the refereeing at the end.

“I’m going to watch his (Neil Hair) games over the next six games and look out for every little bit of contact in the box. If you’re talking a 10 being a clothesline then that was about a half of a one. And it happens in every box for every cross and every corner and he’s just given them charity.”

Meanwhile, Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson was delighted to have snatched a point against his former club and paid tribute to his players’ never-say-die attitude, insisting they deserved some reward for their efforts.

“We’re in good form and they’re the team at the top of the division so we knew it would be a good game,” said Grayson, who managed Sunderland for a brief spell in 2017. “They have players that ask questions of you and we have a never-say-die attitude.

“We were 2-1 down last week against Rotherham and 1-0 down at half-time here today but we keep going right to the very end. It’s even tougher when you’re 2-0 down but we showed the spirit and it’s a great point for us.

“If you don’t have the desire and the spirit you probably don’t get that point at the end of it so we know we have a real tight group.

“We’re down to bare bones-type numbers today but those that were out there gave it everything, they worked extremely hard to cause them problems and had to defend well at times.”

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