STEPH Bannon described the red card for Abby Holmes as harsh after Sunderland Ladies suffered a tough afternoon at Arsenal.
The Lady Black Cats had been holding the title contenders at 1-1 until Holmes brought down Arsenal legend Kelly Smith 18 minutes from time. Holmes was ordered off by referee Stuart Franklin and the Gunners scored three times against a depleted and tired Sunderland side.
“I’d have to watch the video to see what it looks like on there,” said Bannon. “At first I thought it was a tough challenge but, to be honest, I didn’t think it was any different from the first half when Casey Stoney took Beth Mead down.
“Maybe Abby should have just let Kelly shoot and see if Rachael Laws could have saved it.
“We’d have still had 11 on the pitch, but they’ve got the penalty and we’ve gone down to 10 men. But, overall, we’ve got to do better than we did.
“It was a tough game. Arsenal are a very good technical side and gave us problems, but we didn’t perform as well as we could.”