'Poor': Accrington Stanley boss criticises key call in verdict on Sunderland draw

Accrington Stanley boss criticised the decision to book his centre-back Ross Sykes for dissent after he was shown a red card in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.
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Sykes confronted the referee after a goal kick was awarded when the hosts felt they should have had a corner, leading to his dismissal when he would later foul Ross Stewart.

John Coleman said it was 'poor game management' from the referee, and hailed his side for their response.

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Sunderland looked to be heading for a win when a quick counter led to an equaliser for Mitch Clark, a potentially costly moment for the Black Cats in their search for automatic promotion.

Thorben Hoffmann makes a save at Accrington StanleyThorben Hoffmann makes a save at Accrington Stanley
Thorben Hoffmann makes a save at Accrington Stanley

Coleman says a point was a fair reward for his team's efforts, particularly as they arguably had the better of the first half.

Toby Savin made an outstanding early save from Stewart but was largely untroubled otherwise.

"I thought we were the better side in the first half," Coleman said.

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"They've made a little bit of a change and the lad has scored with a massive deflection, it's a fluke and it was the only way Toby [Savin] was going to get beaten today.

"We lost our way a little bit and then with the sending off, we've tried to be as positive as we can.

"I've got no complaints with the second yellow card because it is clearly a booking, but the first one, if he's booked him for dissent which he clearly has, he's complained about a decision that is our corner.

"OK, he's waved his arms about, but if he books every player who complained about a decision there'd have been no one left on the pitch.

"I just don't think it was a good management.

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"We think we should have had a couple of free kicks on the edge of the area and possibly a penalty as well.

"Sunderland are a good side with a good chance of getting promoted and we've matched them all the way.

"I think it would have been harsh if we were beaten today."

The draw leaves Accrington tenth in the table, seven points off the final play-off place.

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