Walsall boss Brian Dutton unhappy over Liam Kinsella red card

Brian Dutton believes referee Antony Coggins was influenced by the opposition’s erratic reaction to Liam Kinsella’s tackle - as the red card cost his side three points away at Stevenage.

Brian Dutton
Brian Dutton

Walsall led 1-0 at the Lamex Stadium going into the 56th minute when Kinsella made a robust tackle on Jack Aitchison in front of the home dugout.

The Stevenage coaching team - and their players - reacted angrily to the tackle and Kinsella was subsequently shown a straight red card.

Boro went on to equalise and Dutton was adamant the official’s made the wrong call.

“I look forward to VAR being introduced in League Two,” Dutton said.

“Once they look back on that and give themselves time to breathe and weigh the decision up, they’ll see that Liam Kinsella’s foot is down. It’s a one-footed tackle. His momentum takes him through and it’s a yellow card.

“All the commotion from the players and the opposition coaching staff - they do influence referees at this level.

“Sometimes you just need to take a step back and give yourself a bit of time. But they’re human beings and they make mistakes just like we make mistakes.

When asked if they will appeal the decision, Dutton added: “We can appeal it but I can’t see it getting overturned to be honest.

“The referees can hide behind the momentum and the force of the tackle. On another day, and on reflection, it’s a yellow card.”

The Saddlers played a handful of different systems throughout the game, starting with 5-2-3 before switching to 4-1-4-1.

When Kinsella was given his marching orders the team had to adapt their shape again and Dutton admits he played the wrong system from the start.

“We came for three points, that was the target,” Dutton added.

“With the early goal we wanted to kick on from there and get the second and third, but to be fair to the lads my tactics weren’t helping them.

“We weren’t able to press the ball how we’d like to, I put that down to not having enough time with them at the minute. A lot of the work has been on attacking play and not a lot on the defensive aspect. That’s something we need to remedy.

“We changed the tactics half-way through the first half and I thought that helped us but the game got turned on its head with the sending off.

“It was then a case of showing desire and digging in and I thought they had that in abundance.”

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