Clough backs U-turn ref

Last Updated: Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:54

Nigel Clough praised the courage of referee Eddie Ilderton to overturn his decision to award Brentford a penalty on Tuesday.

Ilderton inexplicably pointed to the spot and showed Freeman the red card after the on-loan Derby defender clearly won the ball in a challenge with Marcello Trotta in the first half.

But after Bramall Lane erupted with outrage, the Tyne and Wear official consulted with his linesman and rescinded both decisions, restarting the game with a drop ball.

It meant the Bees, who move five points clear of third-placed Leyton Orient in the race for automatic promotion, were rightly denied the chance to take the lead from the spot and it ended in stalemate, despite both sides having plenty of opportunities throughout a pulsating 90 minutes.

And Clough was happy that the game was not decided by Ilderton's initial clanger.

'He got it wrong but he put it right, he has to be commended for putting it right, it takes a lot of courage to do that," the Blades boss said.

"We wish he hadn't got it that wrong in the first place, but he waited in the tunnel and talked to the lads at half time and said he had a bad angle, so that is absolutely fine, everyone got on with the game. But it was very, very brave and the correct thing to do.

"If he'd have just given himself 30 seconds but as long as you get the right decision in the end, that's the main thing.

"To be fair even their players were a bit embarrassed. If it had happened against us we would have wanted the same thing."

Despite it ending goalless, Clough praised the quality of the game.

"It was a cracking game for a 0-0, how it's come to that I don't know, there were chances at both ends. They probably had the majority of chances, but I felt we had the best chances," he added. "That's the best League One game we have been involved in in the last few months.

"It was a gauge to see where we are with regards the top two and we have gone toe to toe with them."

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