07 April 2023

Mark Hughes critical of referee as Bradford draw at Crawley

07 April 2023

Bradford boss Mark Hughes was critical of the performance of referee Robert Lewis as his promotion- chasing side extended their unbeaten run to nine games with a goalless draw at relegation- threatened Crawley.

Hughes felt Lewis should have sent off two Crawley players for bad fouls on Brad Halliday and Jamie Walker late in the first half.

Crawley midfielder Rafiq Khaleel and defender Harry Ransom both received bookings for fouls on Halliday and Walker respectively, but Hughes felt both should have been dismissed.

City eventually ended the game with 10 men after defender Matty Platt collected two yellow cards, but the Bantams remain in sixth place still four points from the third automatic spot.

Hughes said: “The referee’s performance was well below the standard expected.

“They were two obvious red cards. The referee claimed that the challenge on Walker was not high, but you only have to take a look at the player’s leg.”

City have lost only twice since Boxing Day, drawing five of their last six games, and Hughes continued: “In terms of clear-cut chances if we had taken one we would have won the game.

“We got the job done up to a point, but we didn’t get the three points we wanted.

“It wasn’t the best performance to be honest. The pitch was dry and bobbly. We lacked guile, we were rushed and hurried at times, and I’m disappointed because we didn’t show the quality we normally do.”

Second bottom Hartlepool’s 4-1 victory at Grimsby put them level on points with Crawley with the Reds now staying out of the bottom two only on goal difference.

Reds boss Scott Lindsey felt his men were the better side and that the players they were absolutely determined not to be relegated this season.

The former Swindon manager said: “I know what the lads want and that is not to get relegated. We deserved more than a point.

“We can’t rely on other results but if we play like that we’ll be fine.”

Asked how he felt about the five bookings in the last 15 minutes of the first half, Lindsey said he had “no problem with a bit of needle.”

He added: “When you need a point from a game a bit of needle can help, and I do not mind it on the sidelines either.

“Every game at this level is hard, but every game is winnable. I know the level my  players can play up to and they showed it against Salford and Swindon.

“We are capable of playing well against the top sides and we’re good at home. We needed to win the game and are a little disappointed not to have done so.”

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