Brian McDermott accused referee Scott Mathieson of missing a “certain sending off” after Tom Ince’s deflected goal denied Leeds United a Boxing Day victory over Blackpool.
McDermott bemoaned Mathieson’s decision to book Kirk Broadfoot for a professional foul on Ross McCormack moments after Ince struck in a 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road.
Defender Broadfoot tripped McCormack as the Scot broke towards Blackpool’s box in the 68th minute but Mathieson cautioned him as United’s players appealed strongly for a red card.
The official later dismissed Broadfoot for a 90th-minute foul on Leeds defender Marius Zaliukas but the sending off –Blackpool’s ninth of the season – came too late for United to make anything of their numerical advantage.
McDermott said: “It’s a certain sending off and when the referee looks back at it he’ll realise that he’s made an error. It’s unfortunate for him and for us.
“It’s a massive moment because if (Broadfoot) lets Ross go then Ross scores. He’s got the ball under better control than I thought he had and Broadfoot knows himself that he’s going to get sent off. For whatever reason, the referee made the wrong decision.
“Apparently he said to someone that he didn’t think Ross did have the ball under control. If that’s what he’s said to someone else then that’s what he’ll say to me.”
The point gained at Bloomfield Road last night was enough to keep Leeds in a play-off place
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and extend their unbeaten run to five games but Ince’s equaliser on 65 minutes denied them the chance to seriously strengthen their position in the table.
Lee Peltier had given United control of the game on 25 minutes with his first goal for the club, a looping header from Danny Pugh’s deep cross.
McDermott said: “I thought we were pretty comfortable and their first shot on target has taken a massive deflection.
“Thomas (Ince) is a great player but that one deflected and unfortunately for us it’s flown into the back of the net.
“Overall I thought we were solid and resolute. They were running out of ideas before their goal and in the last 10 minutes it could have gone either way. But you need to keep the results ticking over and we have.”