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Grant: Keeper got Kuffour sent off
JOEL Grant said referee Carl Boyeson was influenced by the Port Vale fans’ and goalkeeper Chris Neal’s overreaction when he sent off Jo Kuffour.
Boyeson dismissed Kuffour in first half injury time when he handed the Blues striker his second yellow card of the game for a challenge on the Port Vale goalkeeper.
Blues went on to lose 4-1 as free-scoring Vale took advantage of the extra space created by Kuffour’s dismissal, with caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth conceding the whole game hinged on the decision.
But Grant, who scored the goal that put Wanderers into a 1-0 lead at the time of the red card, said Neal made a meal of Kuffour’s challenge and that made up the referee’s mind to send him off.
Grant said: “I don’t think Jo’s touched him. Jo’s an experienced player, he knows he’s on a yellow card – it was silly to go in for a challenge.
“The crowd here’s fantastic and they have played their part on the decision. They gave their goalkeeper man of the match – he’s made a great save and he’s influenced the game with the sending off.”
Kuffour had already been booked for a bout of handbags with John McCombe – which saw the Port Vale skipper also have his name taken – when he mistimed a tackle on Neal as the keeper went to boot clear a backpass.
Ainsworth refused to criticise Boyeson for his decision but said: "The whole game hinged on the decision of Jo Kuffour getting his red card.
“It looked a little bit soft to me. I’m an old school guy, I’ve been around a long time and you didn’t used to get sent off for that sort of stuff, but the game has changed.
“The referee’s got a tough job to do. I’m not going to be a manager who’s going to criticise referees unless something’s really annoyed me so I’m not going to criticise the referee. He saw it as a red and Jo’s going to miss Barnet, which will be a loss for us.”