Hatters boss John Still couldn’t hide his disappointment with winger Ryan Hall for what he branded a ‘stupid’ red card during this afternon’s 2-1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle.
The wideman, who had been criticised earlier in the week after arriving late for Tuesday’s draw with Leyton Orient, was on at half time in an unfamiliar left back role as Sean Long and Dan Potts had both gone off injured.
However, he was sent off with five minutes remaining for two bookings, the second, pointlessly kicking the ball away after committing a foul.
Still said: “I’m very, very frustrated. He knocks on my door reasonably regularly, ‘you know I’m fit, you know I’m fit.’
“I say, ‘well Ryan, I think the wide people are doing okay, we’ve been scoring goals and I’m going to stay with it. You’ve got to wait for your chance.’
“Well he had his chance today and a tackle is a tackle, he’s an attacking player tackling so you close your eyes to that.
“But kicking the ball away, not for me, as we’ve got 10 men after a stupid sending off.”
There was a certain degree of controversy surrounding how the decision was made though, with Hall previously fouling the outstanding Craig Tanner and referee Ross Joyce getting his yellow card out, but appearing to not actually show it to the winger.
Hall then tripped Tanner once more moments later and launched the ball forward after the whistle had been blown to receive his marching orders for a second caution, as Still continued: “I thought it was two yellow cards, one for the tackle and one for kicking the ball away, but I’ll go and ask about that.
“It was a shame as we were getting down both sides, supporting the front people really well.
“We were finding space between the centre halves and had about three of four where someone got a nick to it to stop us getting the right opportunity.
“They started defending deep which we were quite happy about as we felt we could switch the play to the full backs, but Ryan going off has caused us a problem, not least of all as we were carrying Jack (Marriott). But that’s football, we did all we could to win a game.”
The Luton manager was also left aggrieved his side weren’t awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time when Argyle defender Peter Hartley appeared to handle Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu’s cross.
He added: “We had some good penalty box play and I’ve just been to the referee’s assessor and he said ‘definite penalty’.
“But that’s football, someone said to me, ‘would the penalty at half time had changed it?’
“I don’t know, but all I know was what I saw. I thought we had the lion’s share of the second half and even with 10 men, I thought we just attacked.”