Valerien Ismael and Steve Morison round on referee after controversial draw

Even Cardiff boss Morison admitted a full-time melee was caused by opponents West Brom being denied “a stonewall penalty”.

By Press Association Published: 2 January 2022 - 5.22pm

Rival managers Valerien Ismael and Steve Morison criticised referee Thomas Bramall after tempers boiled over at the end of the 1-1 draw between West Brom and Cardiff at The Hawthorns.

Ismael stormed on to the pitch and West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and Cardiff defender Aden Flint were sent off after a melee was sparked by Bramall’s refusal to award a penalty for what both managers agreed looked like a push on Conor Townsend by Marlon Pack.

“It’s a clear penalty – I can’t say anything else, it’s a penalty,” said Albion head coach Ismael.

“We can’t change anything now. It’s frustrating – at some point you need the luck that the referee does his job.

“It was not only the penalty decision – some decisions were for us, some against us – in my opinion it was a poor refereeing performance.”

Explaining his own actions, Ismael added: “I just wanted to tell him I couldn’t understand why he didn’t give the penalty.

“The situation came and my emotion was high because it was at the end of the game, but I came down quickly.”

Cardiff manager Morison agreed with his counterpart.

He said: “It was all caused by them having a stonewall penalty and the referee not giving it.

“We were thankful he didn’t give it, but as for the two sendings-off at the end, I think they grabbed each other to stop the other doing what they were going to do.

“Nothing happened – that happens all the time in a game.

“I will appeal it – as I’m sure they will – but I’m sure the powers that be will overturn it as they tend to back the referee.

“Hopefully we don’t lose Aden Flint and common sense will prevail.”

Cardiff led in the 34th minute when James Collins glanced home Joe Ralls’ corner.

Albion’s equaliser by Callum Robinson in the 48th minute was also controversial as Cardiff claimed he was offside.

“We were let down by decisions – not by our players,” said Morison.

Albion played the last 14 minutes with 10 men after midfielder Alex Mowatt was shown a straight red card for lunging in on Will Vaulks.

“I was really frustrated because the referee sent him off because the Cardiff player was injured, and straight away he stood up and looked like a new-born,” fumed Ismael.

“Afterwards, I saw the footage on TV and you can see why he gave the red card.”

West Brom were on top for most of the game but Karlan Grant fired wide and Robinson’s curling shot was tipped away by Alex Smithies, who also denied substitute Grady Diangana.

Ismael added: “The first half was difficult because Cardiff didn’t want to play any football – they just wanted to waste time and create frustration.”

Morison said: “I asked the players to do a job and they carried out the game plan to a T.”

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