Penalty And Cards Changed The Game
Blackburn were dead certs for a place in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday when three-up against Crewe. However, two red cards and a fightback saw the game end 3-3 at Ewood Park on Sunday.
Dominic Samuel's early strike beat Crewe goalkeeper Dave Richards to put Blackburn ahead. One became two when Samuel set up Danny Graham. The forwards combined again, this time Graham putting in Samuel again, with Rovers basically home and dried inside 20 minutes.
The turning points came shortly past the half hour mark though when Rekeem Harper was deemed to have fouled Chris Porter - not only did Crewe get a penalty but Harper was also shown a straight red card.
Early in the second half Elliott Bennett was also sent off and Crewe took the most of the numerical advantage. Former Blackburn full back Eddie Nolan headed the League Two side back into the game and a few minutes later Porter levelled it up, the game still had a quarter to go but Rovers held on.
Tony Mowbray knows Blackburn were in complete control with the penalty and red card the turning point, not that he thinks Harper warranted his red card anyway.
He told BBC Radio Lancashire post match: 'It could have been any score you wanted to pick after 20 minutes, we were playing that well. But, obviously, the first sending off and the penalty was the changing point. In my opinion, it wasn't even a foul. They were grappling each other and the boy goes down, so for them to get a penalty and a sending off seems really harsh.'
The boss also questioned the Bennett dismissal too, Mowbray did think struggling Crewe deserved credit for the fightback though.
'I haven't seen the Elliott Bennett one again yet. Referees get paid to make decisions and he's made a lot, but we have to bide by them and get on with it. Give Crewe some credit. They grasped hold of the hope they were given. But we have to take the positives, we're still in the FA Cup and, when it was 11 v 11, the gulf was there for all to see,' Mowbray added.
Mowbray went on to further comment on the dismissals and confirmed appeals could be made - he'll 'have to go and read the rules' first though.
On Harper he told the Official Website: 'I'm not sure you can send someone off and give a penalty unless it's violent conduct. I'm baffled by that one [Harper's red card]. We got caught, but I'm not sure it was a sending off.'
Adding on Bennett's: 'I've watched back Bennett's red card, it looks like they're both on the floor and fighting for the ball, they get their legs tangled - but I don't know. Knowing Elliott's personality, I'd be surprised if he's deliberately kicked out at the kid.'
He'll think long and hard, reviewing them several times before making a final decision on suspension appeals.
Mowbray finished: 'I need to see it again. I think it's the linesman who's recommended the red card, but let's see. I'll have a look and decide if we're going to appeal. I've watched back our videos but the cameras are a long way away and you can just see a tangle of legs. I just hope they [the officials] go and watch the decisions they've made. As long as they look at it and try to get better, it will benefit everyone.'
Whatever, a replay is needed, which will take place at Gresty Road on Tuesday week, 12th December with a 7:45pm kick off.