Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has said that Lee Mason made a critical mistake in the big flashpoint from the West Brom win against Brighton.
But he added that the decision to disallow the goal was the correct one.
Dunk’s quick free-kick, that saw Mason whistle twice, was eventually disallowed by VAR after being not given and then given by Mason.
Talking on Ref Watch (Sky Sports, Monday, 11.30am), Gallagher said, “Well, the easy answer is he [Mason] has just lost focus.
“When you award a free-kick and it’s a ceremonial kick like that, because Brighton originally wanted the wall back 10 yards… He’s got the ball placed, the wall 10 yards back, he’s then got to get into his position.
“For whatever reason, he’s dragged back into the players. Dunk sees [Sam] Johnstone on the other post and thinks ‘I can go quickly’.
“He asks the referee if he can go quickly, the referee, who I think has lost a bit of focus says ‘yes’, but he’s not in the right position for the free-kick himself.
“As soon as he shoots Mason thinks ‘I shouldn’t have let him take this’ and blows again, but the ball goes in the net.
“If it had gone wide we wouldn’t be discussing this. Because it’s gone in the net VAR can look at this and they were quite right to say the whistle had gone again before it crosses the line.”
Riding our luck
West Brom rode their luck on Saturday but whatever mistakes were made in the big flashpoint, the goal should not have been awarded.
Brighton can feel hard done by but the whistle blew again before the ball was in the net.
Sam Allardyce believes that West Brom were harshly treated for the two penalties that were awarded against the Baggies, but Gallagher believes both were correct.
On a different day, both would have been scored but the gods were on our side on Saturday and both were missed.
It all added up to a 1-0 win that keeps our faint hope of Premier League survival alive, and with Everton and then Newcastle next we can get the faint hearts dreaming with another two wins.
Newcastle have almost been dragged back to the bottom three. A defeat for us in that game would almost certainly condemn us to the Championship.
Another win – coupled with our brilliant recent form – would give us a fighting chance.
In other West Brom news, Poll reveals % of some WBA fans who believe in PL survival after Brighton win.