Grant's word war with fourth official

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant labelled fourth official Scott Mathieson a disgrace after a running battle on the Bloomfield Road touchline at the weekend.


Peter Grant labelled fourth official Scott Mathieson a disgrace after a running battle on the Bloomfield Road touchline at the weekend.

The Cheshire official was almost constantly at Grant's side during the game as he attempted to keep the City manager in check - and in his technical area.

However, Grant was furious with Mr Mathieson's behaviour - and made his feelings about forth officials known in no uncertain terms in a short and sharp post-match response.

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“I think they are the worst thing that has been invented in the game,” he said. “They should make their subs and just shut their mouths the rest of the time.”

Asked what Mathieson was upset about, Grant replied: “The state of the pitch, the state of the weather, the colour of the grass - everything. He was a disgrace.”

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Match referee Chris Foy didn't cover himself in glory in Grant's eyes either, after brandishing two yellow cards in the direction of City striker Chris Brown and a yellow for diving against skipper Adam Drury, which rules him out of next week's home game against Leeds.

“I think we should have had a penalty kick but the referee has decided to book the captain, who ends up with a suspension now,” said Grant, who was certain City had been awarded a late penalty when Drury went down under Shaun Barker's challenge in the area.

But Foy, who had booked Blackpool midfielder Wes Hoolahan for diving at the end of the first half, was unmoved.

“It is different with forward players who have that bit of experience of doing that,” he said. “But a defender getting in the box like that there is only one way he can go and that was going down.”

Brown went for two yellows - the first for a foul as he went for a high ball, the second for deliberate handball. The first one would have been enough to see him miss the game against Leeds next Saturday, added to his four bookings with previous club Sunderland, but the second made that academic.

“The first one he genuinely went with his head and the referee thought he went with his elbow,” said Grant. “It is difficult for the ref, but the second one is just crazy, absolutely crazing. But he is a young man and he will learn.

“I am disappointed that the referee gave him a booking for the challenge. He said it was three challenges, but he had been battered all over the place. He'd been kicked from behind, kicked from front but because you are a big lad the referee sometimes goes in favour of the defenders, which is fair, I have no problem that at times - but don't book him then for the simplest thing you come across. I think he thought he led with his elbow but I think if he watches it again, because we have got a good view here and it's easier for us, he has led with his head trying to get the ball. If that's booking nowadays you just have no chance.”

Brown had a chance to put City ahead midway through the second half, but saw his shot smothered by keeper Rhys Evans.

“That's where the pitch comes into it because he has taken that extra touch and it bobbled away from him,” said Grant. “I thought he did well in the game.”

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