Gunter got away with stamping - Grayson

SIMON GRAYSON insists Nottingham Forest defender Chris Gunter was "a lucky boy" to escape being shown a red card after stamping on Leeds United's Sanchez Watt.

The Elland Road club claimed a 1-1 draw from yesterday's trip to the City Ground as a 36thminute header from Lloyd Sam cancelled out Dexter Blackstock's opener.

It was the first point Leeds have collected since winning promotion back to the Championship.

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Despite that, Leeds manager Grayson was left fuming at the final whistle by what he considered to be a deliberate stamp by Gunter on his Arsenal loanee.

The clash prompted an ugly melee in the Forest penalty area that culminated in referee Tony Bates showing both Gunter and Watt yellow cards.

Grayson said: "I don't know how the officials can come to the conclusion it is a yellow card for him (Gunter) because it is a blatant stamp.

"I don't understand how it can not be a sending-off. I think the referee got it wrong.

"Someone must have seen the incident as otherwise there would not have been any yellow cards. If they didn't see anything, they can't book anyone.

"I have seen it on the DVD and it is blatant. He gave him (Watt) a dig in the back before the stamp, as well. Gunter is a lucky boy." Forest manager Billy Davies admitted afterwards that Gunter had been "naive" for reacting, but was also adamant that the initial contact from Watt had been deliberate.

But Grayson said: "Sanchez Watt was walking in the other direction when he possibly stood on Gunter's foot. But it was an accident, he wasn't looking in that direction.

"I would like to think if he (Gunter) had been sent off that we could have gone on and won the game. At 11 v 11, we were on the front foot. But it didn't happen and we have to accept it." The game was an entertaining affair with Leeds fighting back admirably after initially facing a Forest onslaught that could, Grayson admitted afterwards, have put the game beyond his side by the 20-minute mark.

The Leeds boss said: "The way the second half panned out I thought we could have won it.

We created the better chances.

"But I also know that in the first 10 to 15 minutes, we were under a lot of pressure and it could have been game over by half time.

"The goal put us on the back foot. I knew Forest would come out and have a go at us but we couldn't cope. We were on the rack and being over-run.

"It is why I changed the system to get a foothold back in the game. We went 4-4-2 to match up with Forest.

"We needed to be more solid and start to win the individual battles. We tried to frustrate Forest and force mistakes.

"We got the goal and built on that, which is encouraging. Getting the first point is important because two defeats could have left people down-hearted.

"We showed a lot of belief and our goalkeeper didn't have a save to make in the second half."