Delap red card riles Pulis despite 10-man Stoke's comfortable win

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Crawley Town 0 Stoke City 2

Broadfield Stadium

Tony Pulis, the Stoke City manager, called for discussions between clubs and referees yesterday, after Rory Delap was sent off for a challenge that divided opinion between the managers and the match officials.

Mike Jones, the referee, showed no sign of reaching for a card of any colour when Delap appeared to win the ball in a one-footed challenge with David Hunt, the Crawley right-back, until Lee Probert, the fourth official, indicated that he considered the tackle worthy of a red for "excessive force".

"Professional people and referees are so far apart sometimes in what they see as fair or reckless challenges," Pulis said. "We've had a fourth official, Lee Probert, today who has got Rory Delap sent off. But he's refereed a game, Liverpool v Newcastle [on 30 December], and not even booked a player for what was the worst challenge in the Premier League this year – for [Yohan] Cabaye's challenge on [Jay] Spearing. Lee was only five yards away."

Pulis has already been fined £10,000 for criticism of Probert this season over an alleged failure to send off Jamie Carragher in a match between Stoke and Liverpool in the Carling Cup, but he insisted he had no agenda.

"I am not here to slaughter referees," he said. "I'm trying to be constructive and say we have to get together and talk about incidents. I am just saying there is a problem.

"There are rules and regulations in place but what we have to make sure is that people understand them, both professionally and in respect to the referees. We do it as a football club. We phone [the referees chief] Mike Riley up, we send DVDs off to him all the time in respect of certain things that have happened during games and ask him his opinion. It is too great a gap and if we can get together, let's do it."

Yet Steve Evans, the Crawley manager, understood the decision. "My first impression was a red by today's standards," he said. "If your leg is straight and off the ground, you are going to go. Hunt has a four-inch gash on the inside of his ankle, which says everything. I don't think Delap means to tackle like that but the reality is that if you show your studs and you're off the ground, you're in trouble."

Evans felt his side, too, had been harshly treated, first by the award of the penalty from which Stoke took the lead shortly before half-time, when Ryan Shawcross fell under a challenge by Kyle McFadzean. He also said that Shawcross had handled a late effort by Sanchez Watt.

"On replays it's clear it's not a penalty," Evans said. "There is no contact. In the second half, [Tyrone] Barnett has been battered as he goes up for a header, and that's a penalty. And is there any excuse for missing Shawcross's handball on the line? There are nine minutes left on the clock. I can only assume someone has gone across his vision, because he is normally very good but he has had a bad second half."

The incidents overshadowed Stoke's third venture into the FA Cup sixth round in as many seasons and a stubborn display in a tie that could have caused them embarrassment. Crawley, who gave Manchester United a scare at this stage last year before going down 1-0 at Old Trafford, had lost only one of their previous 12 matches at Broadfield Stadium, a ground that is trim but still has a non-League feel and bears little resemblance to the Mestalla, where Stoke play the second leg of their Europa League tie against Valencia on Thursday.

Crawley forced a series of early corners, from the third of which Peter Crouch headed against his own crossbar. They even had a long-throw expert in Hunt, although Stoke were not falling for their own trick.

However, the dismissal of Delap seemed to take the sting out of Crawley's attacks rather than encouraging the League Two side. They had been restricted to long-range efforts from McFadzean by the time Jon Walters nodded on a free kick by Glenn Whelan and Shawcross's tumble was judged worthy of a penalty. Walters converted convincingly.

Another free-kick from Whelan seven minutes into the second half was headed home at the far post by Crouch and, after that, Stoke looked safe. Crawley forced them to defend, but although they played some good stuff in front of the Stoke back four, they were unable to trouble goalkeeper Asmir Begovic until Watt's late overhead kick was blocked by Shawcross.

"We are proud of the players, proud of the town, of everyone at the club," Evans said. "It's a little hard to take with all the decisions that went against us."

Match facts

Crawley: GILMARTIN 6/10; HUNT 7; DAVIS 7; MILLS 6; HOWELL 7; SIMPSON 6; BULMAN 6; McFADZEAN 7; TORRES 6; BARNETT 5; WATT 7

Stoke: BEGOVIC 6; COLLINS 6; UPSON 7; SHAWCROSS 7; SHOTTON 6; DELAP 4; WHELAN 7; WHITEHEAD 7; JEROME 5; CROUCH 6; WALTERS 7

Substitutes: Crawley Town Neilson 7 (Hunt, 49). Stoke City Wilkinson (Jerome, 84).

Booked: Crawley Davis. Stoke Shotton, Jerome.

Sent off: Stoke Delap (17).

Man of the match Walters.

Match rating 7/10.

Possession: Crawley 52% Stoke 48%.

Attempts on target: Crawley 8 Stoke 2.

Referee M Jones (Cheshire).

Attendance 4,240.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker