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Johnnie Jackson says Ronan Curtis red card against Harrogate ‘ridiculous’

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Mar 2024

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Johnnie Jackson was left fuming at Ronan Curtis’ sending off after AFC Wimbledon’s goal-scorer was given his marching orders moments after equalising in a 1-1 draw with Harrogate at Plough Lane.

Matty Daly had given Harrogate the lead after eight minutes, with Curtis levelling for the Dons just before the hour.

He was then shown a red card for a reckless challenge, with Wimbledon having to settle for a point, leaving them one point outside the play-off places.

Jackson was adamant that decision was both wrong, and cost his side dear.

He said: “The red card was ridiculous. He’s not got his studs up, he’s trying to toe poke the ball, he’s from the side and the referee’s on the wrong side.

“The linesman has got a great view of it and he’s not been involved in the decision process.

“It baffles how he’s given that – you’ve got to be absolutely certain that’s violent conduct, or serious foul play or whatever they call it, and it’s not.

“It probably robs us of the chance of going on and getting all three (points) and for a referee to have made a call like that and at this stage of the season where there’s so much riding on it, is a tough one to swallow.

“It’s not a disappointing point as in what the lads produced in the second half and the way we went for it when we had 10. It’s a mad year this year and that might be a valuable point but of course we wanted all three.”

The Sulphurites hit the front early as George Thomson teed up Daly after nice work down the left by Jeremy Sivi.

Having looked toothless in the first half, Wimbledon turned things around in the second, Curtis and James Ball both going close.

Curtis equalised after Harrogate failed to deal with a Jake Reeves free-kick before he was dismissed for a late tackle on Levi Sutton, which Harrogate manager Simon Weaver admitted was a tough call.

He said: “I didn’t think it was, my instinctive reaction was that he’s caught him but not enough for a red.

“Twenty years ago that probably isn’t even a foul or maybe a foul, but not a yellow card.

“First half I thought we were excellent, it was a great away performance.

“We dug in when we had to, we looked organised and sharp on the ball. But second half, I don’t know if it was just my perspective, but it seemed to blow a bit more of a gale and we didn’t settle on the ball as well, especially when we’re into that position where we’re favourites when they went down to 10 men.

On Harrogate’s play-off ambitions, he added: “You’ve got to be a dreamer to be in this game. It’s about trying to keep the dream alive for as long as possible and we’re in a position that most people probably didn’t expect us to be.”

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