Still has sympathy for Rooney after late dismissal

Luke Rooney is sent off
Luke Rooney is sent off

Hatters boss John Still felt that winger Luke Rooney was hard done by after his late red card for an alleged dive against Swindon on Tuesday night.

With time running out and Hatters’ trailing 2-1, Rooney, who had already scored from the spot, went down in the area.

It looked like there was clear contact, but referee Graham Scott thought otherwise, and sent Rooney off for his second yellow card offence.

Still said: “I couldn’t see, I’m going to be honest, I would be lying if I did, but their lads said it was a penalty.

“I know it’s easy for them to say afterwards, but they were saying they clipped him.

“They know Roons and said they were gutted he was sent off as it was a second booking.

“But there’s nothing we can do about it and I’m back to the old sayings, we only control the controllables.

“We can’t do anything about the referee, if he was clipped, it was disappointing, but we move on.”

Defender Steve McNulty also had the same viewpoint as his manager, as he said: “It sounds as if i’m sitting on the fence but I couldn’t see it, there was a load of bodies around him.

“I’ve asked the ref after the game and he’s said have a look at it on DVD.

“Obviously we haven’t seen it but we can’t change the decision now.

“I said to him why’s he going to dive if he’s got a clean shot at goal?

“Because he’s gone past a lad well and and he’s coming across the goal and looks as if he’s got a clean shot at goal with only the keeper to beat.

“It’s not like him to dive, but there’s no point in moaning and groaning about it now, its gone, and we can’t change that decision.”

However, Still was critical of the officials after an off the ball incident went unpunished.

He added: “I spoke to the referee about the fourth official as there was an incident that happened in front of him, two yards in front of him.

“It was under his nose and off the ball, where their fella has lumped through one of urs.

“He said he didn’t see it, but I know he saw it.

“When he said that, I can’t believe it and I just put it to the referee, what is his job?

“Because if his job is to see what is going on and report serious incidents, I can’t believe it.

“Even their people looked at us and if he didn’t see it, he really needs to find another profession because it was right in front of him.

“He could not have missed it, I don’t care, but we can’t do anything about that either.”

Additional reporting by Sam Price