Pundits deliver verdict on Ross Stewart's penalty appeal after Sunderland's play-off exit against Lincoln City

Sky Sports pundits Alex Neil and Curtis Davies both thought it would have been harsh on Lincoln to award Sunderland a penalty for a foul on Ross Stewart.

Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 6:30 pm

The Black Cats were 2-0 up when Stewart collided with visiting goalkeeper Alex Palmer on the edge of the box, yet referee Michael Salisbury waved play-on.

Sunderland won the game 2-1 but were beaten 3-2 on aggregate over two legs in the League One play-off clash.

Black Cats boss Lee Johnson felt Stewart should have been awarded a penalty, yet the studio pundits weren’t as convinced.

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Lincoln's Alex Palmer and Sunderland's Ross Stewart collide.

Former Preston boss Neil said: “I think in real time you could say you’ve seen them given.

“I think when you slow it down you can see that Palmer does slow himself and I’m not sure if there’s enough contact there for Ross Stewart to go down.

“I have seen them given but I think when you have the benefit of the replay, for me it’s a little bit soft.”

Sunderland had the momentum at half-time following goals from Stewart and Charlie Wyke, yet Tom Hopper’s second-half header saw Lincoln retake the lead on aggregate.

When discussing Stewart’s penalty appeal at the break, Derby defender Davies said: “It’s tough. I think you’ve seen them given but I think it would have been harsh.

“I think at the last minute Palmer just pulls his leg away and it’s slightly more clumsy.

“You have seen them given and for Sunderland it would have pretty much been game over.

“I think it would have been harsh in my opinion.”

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