Brighton’s Dunk slams Mason’s ’embarrassing, horrendous decision’

Date published: Saturday 27th February 2021 9:16 - Ian Watson

An angry Lewis Dunk described Lee Mason’s decision to rule out his goal at West Brom as “horrendous” and claimed the referee lost control of the game as Brighton slipped to a controversial defeat.

The Seagulls lost 1-0 at The Hawthorns amid farcical scenes sparked by the official.

Mason disallowed and then allowed a Dunk free-kick before VAR finally ruled the goal out during a chaotic five minutes.

Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck also missed penalties as Brighton remain four points above the Premier League relegation zone.

It all came after Kyle Bartley’s early winner gave Albion just their second victory under Sam Allardyce, leaving them eight points from safety.

Dunk’s comments come after Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo was fined £25,000 for saying Mason was not good enough to be in the Premier League in December.

The defender told Sky Sports: “It’s embarrassing, it’s a horrendous decision, I said to the ref ‘can I take it?’ he blew his whistle and I took it.

“Why doesn’t he come and speak to the press like me? Never, they hide behind their bubble.

“I don’t think he knew what he was doing. He gave the goal, why did he give it? I don’t know why VAR was getting involved, he said ‘goal’… you can look on the video if you want.

Asked if Mason lost control of the game Dunk said: “Yeah he did. Fact.”

Early loser: Incompetent Mason, impotent Brighton

Brighton boss Graham Potter remained calm but insisted he was in the dark over why the goal was disallowed.

He added: “I’m still not clear what the second whistle was for. I asked why he was OK to blow in the first place to allow the quick one. It’s frustrating.”

Bartley won the basement battle when he headed in Conor Gallagher’s corner after 11 minutes.

It was the simplest moment of a controversial game as Brighton and Mason combined to see the Seagulls fall to defeat.

First, Gross missed a 19th-minute spot kick when he hit the bar after Okay Yokuslu’s handball.

Then Mason took the spotlight after 28 minutes when Alexis Mac Allister was brought down outside the box and Dunk curled in a quick free-kick.

Mason had blown his whistle but then immediately blew again with the ball heading towards goal because Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was not ready.

The official was surrounded by furious Brighton players and gave the goal to West Brom’s disbelief.

VAR official Simon Hooper then got involved to check if the ball had crossed the line before Mason’s second whistle and ruled the free-kick must be retaken.

Dunk’s second effort went straight at Johnstone who kept the visitors at bay with first-half saves from Aaron Connolly and Neal Maupay.

Connolly shot over early in the second half and Brighton dominated after the break with Welbeck missing their second spot kick with 15 minutes left.

Gross was brought down by Conor Townsend only for Welbeck to hit the post from 12 yards.

Allardyce said: “It’s a huge slice of luck in our favour. You need a bit of luck in life if you are going to succeed.

“I feel the referee has far too many rules and regulations to adhere to. That causes confusion. I don’t think the referees are allowed to go out with a clear mind.

“The natural way to play football or referee a game is with a clear mind and I don’t think referees today are allowed to have a clear mind to just referee how they feel.

“Not this ever-extending number of rules they keep changing and adding on.”

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