Opposition view: Hurst enraged by 'pathetic' red card and takes swipe at 'gamesmanship'

Scunthorpe United manager labelled the decision to send off Kevin van Veen as 'pathetic' and took a swipe at Northampton's 'gamesmanship' after his side were beaten 3-0 at the PTS on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 7:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 8:01 am
Paul Hurst

United were already behind to Vadaine Oliver's seventh-minute header when van Veen, on his first return to the ground since departing, reacted to a challenge from Charlie Goode.

Van Veen appeared to raise both hands and push Goode in the chest, prompting Town's skipper to go to ground and referee Sam Purkiss to flourish a straight red card.

"It's pathetic," said Hurst. "Kevin shouldn't push him, first and foremost, because he gives the ref a decision to make.

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"We talk about honesty in the game but Charlie pretends to be pushed in the face and he gives a red card. It's very soft.

"I'm not happy with Kevin for reacting but I have to say it wasn't the only decision he got wrong tonight.

"It's annoying. I didn't enjoy the performances from certain individuals on the pitch tonight and I'm not talking about my players, and I also didn't enjoy some of the gamesmanship.

"We talk about the image of the game and people being honest and fair but that wasn't happening tonight."

Van Veen's dismissal delighted home supporters, who gleefully waved him from the pitch, but Scunthorpe were not impressed by the actions of their former defender.

"I didn't realise Charlie was so light and I was surprised he went to touch his face - he must have a really long face if he touched his face," Hurst added.

"I only knew Charlie for a very short time because he left quickly but when I spoke to him I thought he was a nice lad.

"But tonight I wouldn't have been particularly happy with the way he conducted himself, but I'm sure he doesn't care because they won the game.

"It wasn't an acceptable performance from the referee. When you play against a Northampton team that are very hard to play against anyway, you need a strong referee but I didn't feel we had that."

There was no way back for Scunthorpe once van Veen saw red as Oliver scored a second just past the hour-mark and then Sam Hoskins lashed home from the spot.

Hurst continued: "We went 1-0 down and it was an excellent ball in from Nicky Adams, who is a good footballer, but we have to try and force him outside.

"We spoke about that before the game. He swapped with Hoskins because more often than not he plays on the left but whoever it was he's got to go down the outside.

"It's a great ball in and it's difficult to defend and then comes the sending off.

"Northampton are doing extremely well and they have an excellent home record but we looked a threat and even with 10 men, I don't think you could tell we were a man light for a large part of the game.

"The lads gave a good account of themselves and I can't criticise them in terms of their efforts. It was going to be a difficult test anyway so I won't be too critical."