Under-fire Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson hits out at officials after Charlie Wyke goal ruled out in Gillingham defeat
Under-fire Phil Parkinson has hit out at the officials after Sunderland had a Charlie Wyke goal ruled out for offside before conceding a late winner against Gillingham.
Parkinson has now lost eight games of the 12 he has taken charge of since replacing Jack Ross.
Sunderland are deep in crisis, 11th in League One, and now five points off the play-off positions.
Sub Wyke, back from an ankle injury, looked to have won it late on but his close-range finish was ruled out for offside but only after a long discussion between referee Andy Woolmer and his assistant referee.
What infuriated Parkinson was that at no point did the linesman’s flag go up before it was ruled out, Luke O’Nien deemed to be offside.
Gillingham then scored in the 89th minute via Connor Ogilvie’s emphatic finish after a goalmouth scramble.
Parkinson said: “I haven’t seen the referee properly yet but what he said as we were walking off was that it wasn’t Charlie that was offside, it was Luke O’Nien in an offside position.
“He felt he impeded the goalkeeper. Our argument was so why didn’t the flag go up straight away?
“I think with the protests of the Gillingham players, they have almost guessed and changed their mind.
“When you need a bit of something to go for you, when that was disallowed it was a blow for us.
“We deserved something from the game, to give us something to hang on to would have given us a huge lift.”
He added: “I think the linesman has guessed, if he was offside why didn’t his flag go up initially? I think they have panicked and changed their mind.
“The officials that come here know they will be under pressure. They have to handle it. That moment was costly for us.
“If he puts his flag up straight away I would understand it.”
On the defeat, Parkinson added: “The sheer volume of set plays and balls into the box, we had dealt with them really well, then we gave a free-kick away, resulted from that we ended up conceding the goal.
“It was a massive disappointment. We just had to see that set play through and if we got a point we’d have taken that all day.
“It was a blow to concede so late in the game. The lads gave us absolutely everything.”
Gillingham looked to have had a goal ruled out in the first half, Brandon Hanlan’s header looked to have bounced over the line after hitting the bar but it was not given.
On the Gillingham ‘goal’ not awarded, Parkinson added: “At the time I thought it was very close, I haven’t seen that back either.
“Maybe we got a little bit our way there.”