Express & Star

Michael Flynn blasts standard of lower league referees following Walsall cup exit

Walsall boss Michael Flynn has bemoaned the standard of refereeing further down the pyramid after controversially being denied a goal in their Carabao Cup defeat.

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The Saddlers thought Andy Williams had put them ahead against Charlton Athletic as he appeared to chest the ball home.

Instead, though, the goal was disallowed, with the striker judged to have handled the ball and shown a yellow card.

The Addicks would later win it through Diallang Jaiyesimi and book their place in the third round on a frustrating night at Bescot.

"There's 3,000 people here when you add it all up. One person in the stadium decided to disallow the goal," said Flynn.

"It's not good enough. It could cost a club up to £1million.

"That is why these decisions have got to be right. In modern football now, the cup games, you can't get them wrong.

"It's happening too often because I'm not the only manager to be complaining about the standards."

Williams was left perplexed in the wake of the decision and Flynn added: "His stomach is red raw. Just to rub salt in the wounds, he gets booked. It’s crazy.

"I’ve had to take him off because you can see the frustration is still there. I didn’t think it was fair on him because he’s been working so hard for his first goal for this football club. And again he’s been denied a very good goal.

“When you are in the tournament with Premier League teams and there’s things riding on games i.e you can get a big draw, play-offs – I’ve been done in two play-off finals.

“I thought we were the better team, we’ve created loads of chances. It just wasn’t to be.

“The cross has come in, he’s even moved his arm to elevate his body, it was a very clever quick-thinking finish.”

Flynn was pleased with Walsall's performance on the whole, although disappointed with how Jaiyesimi was allowed to win it for the visitors.

"I will say even if it had counted we would only have gone to penalties and the way we defended for their goal, there were four or five mistakes," said Flynn.

"There were two players walking, not attempting to get back. A poor back pass to the keeper, a poor kick.

"I’m not just blaming the ref. We made one error and we got punished for it. The rest of it, I was very proud of them, the way we pressed, the way we played football, the chances we created.

"There were many more positives than negatives."