Kettle leaves PNE boss steaming

Bailey Wright (on the floor) is red-carded by referee Trevor Kettle
Bailey Wright (on the floor) is red-carded by referee Trevor Kettle
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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson criticised the performance of referee Trevor Kettle after his side finished the draw against Wolves at Deepdale with nine men.

Mr Kettle showed Joe Garner a straight red card after 20 minutes for a challenge on Danny Batth, then dismissed Bailey Wright nine minutes from time for a second booking.

The Lilywhites had taken a 10th minute lead through Daniel Johnson and held that until 30 seconds into stoppage-time when Kevin McDonald curled home an equaliser from outside the box.

Grayson delayed doing his post-match press conference until he had seen the referee after the standard 30-minute cooling-off period.

But he was still bristling then at what had gone on during the 1-1 draw.

“First and foremost, credit the players for how well they did today,” said Grayson.

“Forget anything that went off in the game, we started well when it was 11 against 11, passed the ball well and were on the front foot.

“As the game went on they put their bodies on the line, the goalkeeper made saves and the players worked their socks off to try and make sure we got the three points.

“Those feelings were tinged with disappointment for them because the game was taken out of their hands to a certain degree.

“With the sending-off, the ball went up to Joe – it was not on the deck – and he was in mid air when he went to control it.

“He has not seen the defender is there and there was no intent to hurt the player.

“Yes, Joe caught him, but there was no malice or intent.

“On another day we would have got away with that.”

Grayson said North End would look at possibly appealing against the card but feels the chances of getting it overturned would be slim.

Garner now faces a three-match ban, ruling him out of the matches against Sheffield Wednesday, Cardiff and Charlton.

Turning to Wright’s early bath, Grayson said:“When you look at the overall pattern of the game there were incidents missed.

“I went in to see the referee afterwards and talked about certain incidents.

“There was one in the first half when Adam Reach got the other side of Dominic Iorfa and Iorfa pulls Adam down.

“We got a free-kick and it should have been a yellow card, it was blatan, but there was no card.

“Eventually Iorfa did get booked and that should have been two yellows and a potential sending-off.

“Kevin McDonald before half-time throws the ball away 30 yards and didn’t get booked.

“He got booked second half and that should have been two.

“Bailey’s two bookings were softer than those two just mentioned.

“John Welsh made a great tackle on the far side, won the ball and then the man - great tackle and he got a yellow card.

“I stick up for referees because I know they have a very difficult job but there are certain referees that once you know you are going to get them, you are going to be in for a tough afternoon.

“That is from both sides. I’m not complaining just for our side because there were certain decisions that went for us which were surprising.

“It probably summed him up that when I was in the tunnel waiting for him at the final whistle, he wouldn’t come to see me.

“I don’t know what he thought I was going to do.

“I could stand here and talk about him all day long and somewhere down the line say something I shouldn’t do and end up with a fine or a ban.

“It is no coincidence possibly that after a game two years ago I said a few words to him in the tunnel and got a ban off the back of that.”