Hull City coach Grant McCann says referee Craig Breakspear spoiled a good game

Grant McCann accused referee Craig Breakspear and his assistants of ruining a game between League One's best sides after a controversial match between Hull City and Sunderland ended 2-2.

FRUSTRATION: Hull City coach Grant McCann

Josh Magennis equalised twice from Mallik Wilks crosses after first Jordan Jones, then Grant Leadbitter scored for the Black Cats.

But Hull were outraged that Charlie Wyke was booked for what McCann called a “blatant elbow” which left Jacob Greaves needing stitches in an eye wound, and then that a penalty was given for handball against Callum Elder as he tried to close down Lynden Gooch. Leadbitter converted it.

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Whilst the refereeing was not great, though, in truth it probably did not stop the right result being achieved, even though Sunderland hit the woodwork in either half.

“The second (Sunderland goal) was shocking,” said Hull coach McCann. “How the linesman can give a penalty when your hands are in a natural position and the players is about a yard away from you.

"We've been given penalties this season when hands are raised and I've said that's the rules but we've been given a penalty when a hand's in a natural position and Callum cannot do anything with his hands when Gooch hits the ball against him. I feel as if we've been let down a little bit by that, probably also by the elbow for Charlie Wyke on Jacob Greaves. His eye's in a terrible state.

“In the second half there's another one for Luke O'Nien on Josh Magennis that he gives a free-kick for and doesn't book him. A minute later O'Nien brings (Greg) Docherty down when he's clean through. That could have been another red card for him.

“I just felt the game was spoiled a bit by the officials because for me that was the best two teams in the division playing.”

On Wyke's yellow card inside 20 minutes, McCann said: “I've seen it back and it's a blatant elbow. He's come from the side of him. I don't think Charlie Wyke's that sort of player but why give the free-kick? He wasn't even going to give the free-kick until the fourth official saw it.

“We've seen it back three or four times and it's nasty, it really is.

“(Greaves) will be okay. His eye's proper swollen and he had to get stitches on the pitch but he'll be fine. He did well against Charlie Wyke, who's a good player.

“I feel the referee made a mistake there.”

Hull have previous with Breakspear, who was the referee when they played out a 3-3 draw with Doncaster Rovers earlier in the season.

“I spoke to him straight after the game and fair play to him he asked me to come into his office and took what I had to say in a positive manner but it was the same referee we had at Doncaster when he booked Greg Docherty for being and trying to walk off the pitch, he gave a free-kick to (James) Coppinger on the edge of the box which was never as free-kick and a penalty to Doncaster which was never a penalty,” said McCann. “It's frustrating.

“The officials took the game in their hands but it's a point and we move onto the next one.”

As for the game as a whole, McCann was happy with a draw on a day when if Lincoln City had lost in the earlier kick-off, three points could have secured automatic promotion.

“Sunderland came strong at us probably the first 25 minutes,” he said.

“After that we came into the game.

“It was a sloppy goal for us then really good for Mallik to cross for the equaliser.

“Sunderland were strong (at the start), they set about us in a way we thought they would but we just didn't get to grips with it.

“After that I thought we came strong. It was a disappointing (first) goal for us to concede but then it was real good character, a good goal from Josh after good play from Mallik.

“As the game went on I thought we got stronger and second half we looked good. Then it was just a bit open, wasn't it? A bit like a basketball game.

“They hit the post and bar and Matt Ingram made a great save so on the balance of play but we had very good chances so on the balance of play I think it was a fair result.

“We wanted to go into the game to try and win it but like I always say if we don't win it, don't lose it. That's 12 games unbeaten now at a crucial time of the season.”

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