IRATE Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough lambasted referee Darren Bond’s display on Thursday night at Bramall Lane having moments earlier made a pointed remark to assessor Alan Wiley.
Clough believes four key decisions went against his side in the 2-1 League One play-off semi-final first leg defeat to Swindon Town, starting with a strong penalty appeal for handball.
A failure to play advantage when Matty Done was clean through also incensed Clough, as did a second-half ‘goal’ being ruled out for a foul and a failure to award a penalty when Ryan Flynn was clattered.
The United chief said: “I feel very, very hard done by. We had four major decisions go against us in the game.
“We put our heart and soul into it but had three penalty appeals turned down and also had a ‘goal’ disallowed that shouldn’t have been.
“The handball in the first half, I just can’t understand why he didn’t give it. Ryan Flynn also had a shot in the second half but got two-footed.
“And the ‘goal’ Matty Done scored, the lad went down so easily. Four things in a game of this magnitude is hard to take.”
Clough, after emerging from the tunnel post-match to speak to the press, spotted former Premier League referee Wiley and called out: “Are you his coach? I want to ask you a simple question.”
But Wiley declined to respond.
On the challenge facing his side, Clough added: “We are more than still in the tie. And more than capable of getting a result down there. We will give it a right go.
“Sometimes you need a break and we didn’t get that either in terms of decisions or in front of goal.”
John Brayford (knee) and Stefan Scougall (hamstring) are both major doubts for the return leg.