Rotherham United to appeal 'heartbroken' Matt Crooks' red card

Rotherham will appeal Matt Crooks' red card during the 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:25 pm
Referee Darren Bond instructs Matt Crooks of Rotherham United (R) to leave the field after being sent off during the Sky Bet Championship match between Rotherham United and Middlesbrough at AESSEAL New York Stadium. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Crooks was shown a straight red for an aerial challenge with Grant Hall when his side were leading 1-0 through Angus MacDonald's early header.

But his dismissal changed the course of the game and Boro came back to win through goals from George Saville and Chuba Akpom, which leaves the Millers staring relegation in the face.

Boss Paul Warne was hugely disappointed by the decision of referee Darren Bond and hopes it gets overturned.

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“I might be wrong but Crooksy has never been sent off for me before,” Warne said.

“He's not a dirty player. I want him to attack that ball because that's the way we play.

“It's a contact sport. He's not maliciously gone to hurt the lad. After the game, he looked heartbroken. It wasn't the face of a warrior who's gone round trying to 'hench' people.

“I've seen it back once in slow motion and it looked ridiculously harsh. Their bench has gone up in a furore and the ref has pulled out a red card.

“I thought it looked harsh, we will definitely appeal it and from then the game takes a completely different turn after that.

“ They score in a set-piece in a position in the goal Crooksy would be. I didn't think the lads deserved that for the effort they put in.”

The Millers have had success in recent weeks at reversing a red card after Michael Smith's dismissal in the win at Sheffield Wednesday was overturned.

Warne is adamant that the game changed course as a result of that moment.

“I hope that's a trend and it does get rescinded and I might get a very loose apology, but that doesn't help me,” he said.

“We were fortunate against Sheffield Wednesday we went on to win the game with 10 men but that time we were playing well and tonight it could be even more catastrophic for our season.

“We could have gone on and lost 5-1 with 11 players who knows. I would be lying if I said I didn't think it had an impact on the result and that is what is hard for me to take.”