Adrian Goldberg has blasted Sam Johnstone and the West Brom defence for their role in Brighton’s controversial disallowed goal on Saturday.

It was a crucial three points for Albion as Kyle Bartley’s first-half header proved to be the difference between the sides but it could all have been so different had referee Lee Mason not ruled out Lewis Dunk’s quick free-kick.

Many have been quick to criticise Mason’s handling of the decision but former Birmingham Mail journalist Goldberg highlighted the ineptitude of the Albion defence instead.

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Speaking on ‘The Liquidator’ podcast [01/03/21], Goldberg said: “He [Mason] was right, it is not his job to say ‘Oh Sam, are you ready mate? Guys are you ready in the wall?’ Forget that.

“It’s our job as a defensive team to shape up straight away and it was poor defending by us, it is not the referee’s job in a game of football to organise a defensive wall.

“We were in the wrong there, we got away with it, I’m delighted we got away with it but Lee Mason, his mistake was in blowing a second time, he had no business blowing a second time.”

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Sloppy from Sam

It is not often we have found fault with Johnstone this season as he has bailed out our dozy defense on countless occasions this season, despite shipping a league-high 55 goals.

But Goldberg is right – he has to be more alert and organised in these kind of situations.

He should have sorted the wall out more promptly and been quicker once Mason was on the whistle.

It was an ameteurish moment and did not reflect well on the 27-year-old as he bids to make a late run for England’s European Championships squad this summer.

Of course there is still blame elsewhere as the wall should have been more aware as well, plus the obvious refereeing indecision which did not help proceedings, but Johnstone will still be disappointed.

He will learn from this and with two consecutive clean sheets under his belt, should be in high spirits going into Thursday’s clash with Everton.

In other West Brom news, Kyle Bartley has some surprising words for Lee Mason.

Be sure to follow West Brom News on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Baggies and more exclusive interviews with Kevin Phillips.


  1. A quick free kick is ok when no wall is needed the keeper has to stand at his post to line the wall up so ref should wait to blow otherwise every body will be scoring off these free kicks or getting booked for standing on the ball till your team ready

  2. He was only given about 2 seconds to get his wall together from what I could see. Ridiculous to take a free kick before the team is ready.


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