Newcastle boss Craig Deans has slammed the referee after his team’s 2-2 draw with Perth Glory.

An early send off put his side a player down in controversial fashion when referee Lara Lee brandished the red card to Larissa Crummer after she clambered into the back of Sam Kerr who was through on goal.

Amongst the tangle of bodies and limbs as the pair tumbled to the floor, Lee awarded a penalty – which Kerr duly slotted home – and a red card for the Jets’ defender.

Newcastle were able to hold onto a 2-2 and were the better side for the majority of the following 70 minutes but Deans was left lamenting the dismissal of Crummer as the key moment of the game.

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“It’s ruined a game of football,” Deans said.

“I don’t want to waste time and energy talking about things that are out of my control.

“What I’ve been told is the rule is as long as you’re making a football challenge it can’t be a red card. It’s a definite penalty, I’ve got no problem with the penalty but it’s not a red card, it’s a yellow card.

“If I’m wrong I’ll apologise but I’ll go and watch the video.”

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The official laws of the game were altered in 2017 to lessen the impact on a defending team when conceding a penalty.

The rules were amended to the following:

  • A player ‘stopping a promising attack’ in the penalty area is not cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball.
  • The philosophy behind reducing the disciplinary sanction from a sending-off (red card) to a caution (yellow card) for ‘denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO)’ in the penalty area if the offence is an attempt to play the ball is now applied to ‘stopping a promising attack’ in the penalty area which will not be a caution (yellow card) if the offence is an attempt to play the ball.

Going by the laws alone, Lara Lee decided when Crummer dragged Kerr down in the box that the offence was not an attempt to play the ball but rather a malicious attempt to bring Kerr down, and hence worthy of dismissal.

Glory coach Bobby Despotovski remained matter-of-fact about the decision while reflecting on the incident.

“From where I’m sitting here looking over there, I’m not sure if she tackles Sam [Kerr], or clips Sam, or whatever happened because I couldn’t see,” Despotovski said.

“The penalty is a penalty 100%.

“If it was a red or yellow card, that’s the interpretation of the referee.”

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Interpretation is part instinct, part perception and part knowledge of the rules for referees, and in this instance Lee decided Crummer’s challenge was not a genuine attempt to play the ball.

It’s a decision Deans believes ruined the contest and spectacle for the fans.

“That’s the most disappointing thing,” Deans said.

“Football is about people paying money to come and see it, and playing 11 vs. 11. If we had won the game or lost the game I would still make the same comment.

“Again, if I’m wrong then I’m wrong and I’ll apologise.”

Feature Image Credit: Vision Inspired Photography

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Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.