Ardley and Still agree that Osborne red card was ‘soft’

Hatters boss John Still felt Luke Wilkinson should have had a penalty
Hatters boss John Still felt Luke Wilkinson should have had a penalty

AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley refused to criticise referee Brendan Malone after his side had to play with 10 men for almost an hour in their 2-0 defeat to Luton Town yesterday.

Visiting centre half Karleigh Osborne was dismissed for two bookings inside five minutes on 35 minutes, with the second caution branded ‘soft’ by Ardley.

“Sending’s off now are soft, although the letter of the law says he’s got to go.”

John Still

Luton eventually took full advantage late on through substitute Jack Marriott’s clinical double as Ardley said: “I thought the first one was a booking. The second one, the only argument I might have is if we just send people off for two fouls, the first two fouls they make in the game, we’ll probably have eight men left on the pitch.

“Maybe a warning might have been in place as it looked soft and if you know someone’s had a booking, you sometimes see referees use common sense. But he’s done it and I’m not going to criticise.”

Hatters boss John Still was of the same opinion as his counterpart too, adding: “The sending off, it is a sending off, if it was my player, I probably wouldn’t have any complaints about it, but the sending’s off now are soft, although the letter of the law says he’s got to go.”

Still did think that his side were denied a clear-cut penalty in the second period though when Luke Wilkinson appeared to be wrestled the ground by Adebyao Akinfenwa inside the area.

He added: “You can’t get 101 per cent can you? But 100 per cent, without a shadow of a doubt (it was a penalty). I’ve had so many of them in the past though, but he didn’t give it and there’s nothing I can do about it.

“I will ask, but it’s not going to make any difference at the end.

“I felt with the Mansfield game we were disappointed with some of the decisions but there’s nothing I can do about them. It’s control the controllables, that’s all I can do.”