John Coleman verdict on decision to abandon and how his Accrington Stanley side 'shaded' Sunderland contest
John Coleman felt his Accrington Stanley side '˜shaded' the League One clash against Sunderland but agreed the decision to abandon was the right one.
Referee Oliver Langford called a halt to proceedings after 73 minutes following heavy rain on an already sodden pitch, with player safety at the forefront of the decision.
Coleman agreed it was the correct move and felt the players were in danger of getting hurt had the game carried on.
Sunderland took the lead 63 minutes in after on-loan Middlesbrough keeper Connor Ripley’s clearance cannoned off Chris Maguire before defying the stodgy penalty area and rolling in.
A mistake by Jack Baldwin led to sub Connor Hall’s equaliser six minutes later, the game abandoned four minutes later after heavy rain meant it was too dangerous to continue.
Coleman said: “I think it was the correct decision, either team could’ve won that game from a farcical incident.
“I said to the fourth official a couple of minutes before Sunderland scored that if either team score then the referee can’t be scared to call it off because it’s getting beyond a joke.
“They did score and then we’ve scored so I think that makes the decision a little bit easier. I think if it had carried on then someone could’ve got hurt. That is generally the case when people are diving in to puddles.”
“I think we just shaded it to be fair. Obviously, they scored a freak goal, we’ll have to look at it again,” added Coleman.
“Connor is adamant that he’s handled it, the lads seem to think it’s hit him on the arm also. The safe decision then would’ve been to disallow that, but referee might be right and then it’s a great decision.
“On the balance of play I think we made better chances.”
A record crowd of 5,257 packed into the Wham Stadium, helped by 2,604 Sunderland fans.
“The fans that came had their monies worth, for 70 minutes it was two teams going for it,” said Coleman.