Royals boss calls for 'common sense' after seeing striker Carroll sent off for 'accidental' handball against Luton

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Experienced forward dismissed for two bookings at the Madejski Stadium

Reading interim boss Noel Hunt defended striker Andy Carroll and called for some ‘common sense’ to be shown after the former Liverpool, Newcastle and England forward was sent off for what he felt was an ‘accidental’ handball during the 1-1 draw with Luton last night.

The 34-year-old had already been booked in the first half for sliding in on Cauley Woodrow, as although he appeared to win the ball, the nature of the tackle from behind saw a yellow brandished by referee Tim Robinson.

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Early in the second period, the striker then headed Tyrese Fornah’s corner past Ethan Horvath to put his side 1-0 up, before moments later it looked like he had done exactly the same, diverting another set-piece into the net and wheeling away in celebration.

However, with Luton’s players immediately appealing to the officials for a handball, replays showed Carroll had quite clearly used his hand to score from, leading to his second booking from Robinson, while the following red left the Royals down to 10 men for the final 35 minutes.

Town eventually went on to grab an equaliser through Carlton Morris’s 19th of the season, but an annoyed Hunt didn’t think his striker should have been dismissed, saying: “We went one-up up and you think you’ve scored again, then obviously the goal gets chalked off and we get a man sent off.

“We’ve seen it back and he doesn’t mean to handball it.

“There’s got to be some kind of context.

Andy Carroll is shown his second yellow card against Luton last nightAndy Carroll is shown his second yellow card against Luton last night
Andy Carroll is shown his second yellow card against Luton last night

“If you go with your head, sometimes you do close your eyes at times, sometimes you do blink and you lose the flight of the ball, so I thought that was harsh.

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"The big man said he asked the referee if he didn’t celebrate and he said it was a handball, then he still would have sent him off, so come on, there's absolutely no context to that.

“I’ve seen so many handballs this year where I’m thinking ‘how did he give a pen?’

"I just think it’s ridiculous, where are you going to put your hands? You haven’t got pockets.

"Defenders are coming out to defend with their hands behind their back, how do you balance and move? It’s not natural.

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"Sometimes from half a yard, if someone smashes a ball at 80 miles an hour you’re not going to get your hands out of the way, it’s just common sense.

"I know for me what my opinion is on it, but I don’t want to get myself in trouble, so I just think it needs common sense.”

Hunt admitted he hadn’t given the vastly experienced forward a dressing down after the game though, despite the decision giving Luton a numerical advantage on the night, as he continued: “He knows it himself, he said it himself, but that’s not the point.

"The point is if I’m in his shoes, I probably do the same thing.

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"He says it’s accidental, it’s accidental, he doesn’t mean it, therefore there’s nothing to be mad about, it’s one of those things, it’s unfortunate.

"He’s gutted in there, he’s a top class guy and he’s hurting more than anyone.

"He scored a great goal, he thinks he’s scored a second one, it is what it is.”

The Royals boss didn’t think Carroll should have been on a booking in the first place either, and will now try to appeal the sending off if he can, adding: “Even his first yellow card, you look at it and he hasn’t touched him.

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“There’s no contact, the boy just goes to his knees, he slid in but doesn’t get anywhere near him, and he books him.

"With the second one, when I see it, it’s not even clear, he said he has handled it, but again, just some common sense.

“We’ll have a look at it and see what the story is.

"If we can get some good footage on it, but you know how appeals nine times out of 10, you don’t get it.”