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Sean Dyche bemoans lack of VAR intervention after Luton beat Everton to progress

SoccerNews in FA Cup 27 Jan 2024

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Everton manager Sean Dyche’s frustration from losing an uninspiring FA Cup fourth-round tie 2-1 at home to Luton was directed at the lack of VAR intervention for the crucial first goal.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin fell to the floor as his loss of balance was aided by a push in the back from former Toffees midfielder Ross Barkley and, in the space behind him at the near post, defender Vitalii Mykolenko diverted Alfie Doughty’s corner past his own goalkeeper.

VAR ruled there was not enough in Barkley’s intervention to overturn the goal but Dyche was not happy.

“I don’t think I was any more frustrated than I normally am. I was more frustrated with the first goal and two hands in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s back,” he said.

“You can say he’s gone down light, which he probably did, but I’ve seen penalties given for treading on someone’s toe.”

Jack Harrison equalised in the second half after goalkeeper Tim Krul allowed his low shot to escape his grasp but deep into added time Cauley Woodrow fired home in a goalmouth scramble following another corner.

“The game was a scrappy, awkward, ugly affair. They got the best side of it with two set-pieces – it felt like that type of game,” added Dyche.

“When we scored to get equal we had 15 minutes when we looked the side more likely but we conceded a soft corner at the end and conceded a goal from a bit of a ricochet.

“Fair play to them, they found their way through it and got the win.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards admitted not having a replay played a big part in their joyous reaction at the final whistle.

“It was a big reason for the celebrations at the end,” he said.

“It is a competition we value and want to go as far as possible. I’m so pleased for the lads.

“It will give us belief and confidence, you can see there is belief in this group of players. We are getting better.”

Woodrow played on with a suspected broken hand after Everton centre-back James Tarkowski fell on him but his resilience was rewarded with a first goal since August.

“I felt it crack, so I was in a bit of shock for a while,” the forward told BBC Sport.

“I’m really pleased with myself because I have been waiting a long time for a goal.”

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