Plymouth Argyle boss fumes at referee in verdict on Sunderland defeat but praises 'great' opening goal

Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe hit out at a 'crazy' decision to award Sunderland a late penalty at Home Park, but conceded that the game's opening goal was right to be allowed to stand.

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 8:00 am

Lowe was booked at half-time for approaching referee James Bell the Argyle boss arguing that Ross Stewart had been offisde when Lynden Gooch sprung him clear on goal.

Replays suggested the linesman had made the right call on that occasion, but there was controversy when Gooch was hauled down by Ryan Law.

A free-kick was initially awarded, before the referee pointed to the spot.

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Ryan Lowe remonstrates with the referee at half time

Law was on a yellow card at the time and was fortunate not to be sent off.

Jerome Opoku had been sent off fifteen minutes earlier for a second yellow, a decision with which Lowe had no complaints.

"He should stay on his feet, and we know that, so it’s a rash moment of him making that decision," Lowe said.

“Then it’s backs against the wall. We were still in the game with two banks of four.

“We have got one striker, Klaidi [Lolos] working his socks off, we are compact. We knew we had to see it out then, with a young lad at the back in Ollie [Tomlinson].

“I thought we could have seen it out to be honest. In fact, I thought we may have broken on them because they were putting bodies forward a lot.

“Then when the ref gives the penalty, it’s outside the box. He can see it, he actually gave a free-kick first and then the linesman made the decision to give a pen.

“He over-ruled the linesman in the far corner early on in the half when it was a throw-in, so he could have over-ruled him again. It’s crazy isn’t it?”

Lowe was left frustrated by the referee's unwillingness to engage with him at the interval, but admitted it was a 'great ball and great run' that allowed the Black Cats to take the lead.

“I have seen it back and it probably wasn’t offside," he said.

"It was a great ball, it’s a great run. Kell [Watts] just needs to step one yard extra.

“If he steps one yard extra then he [Stewart] is offside. But, regardless of that, it’s fine, we got ourselves back in the game.”

“I just walked over to him and asked him. He was alright speaking to me before the game.

“He was a Sheffield Wednesday and couldn’t wait to tell he used to sing my name on the Kop, and stuff like that.

“So I’m spending time with him, showing a bit of respect, and he’s talking fine to me.

“Then I wanted to talk to him at half-time, but he didn’t want to. I was happy to walk off the pitch with him, there was no malice in it.

“There was no bad language in it. I just said to him ‘Look, it’s offside’.”

“He was alright wanting to speak to me before the game but when I wanted to speak to him at half-time he just showed me a yellow card."

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