Newell rages at referee as Mellon sends Tranmere through

Luton Town 0 Tranmere Rovers 1
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The Luton manager, Mike Newell, described the referee, Matt Messias, as "arrogant" after his side crashed out of the FA Cup to Tranmere at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

The Tranmere captain, Micky Mellon, drove home the winner nine minutes from time to send his side into the last 16 for the fourth time in five seasons, but Newell was fuming at Messias's refusal to give his team a late penalty when Keith Keane was sent sprawling in the box by Gareth Roberts. He said: "I can take it when a referee holds his hands up and says he might have made a mistake, but in this instance I thought he was just arrogant."

Newell, who clashed with Messias after the final whistle, added: "I don't need to look at a video. I know it was a penalty. I told the referee it is my living that he is affecting, he just said. 'It's mine as well'. I know he had one season in the Premiership but that probably says it all."

Newell admitted his defender Sol Davis should have been sent off after apparently catching Tranmere's Iain Hume with a headbutt after just 11 minutes. The Tranmere manager, Brian Little, dismissed the incident as "just one of those things that happen in a football match".

However, he did express relief that Luton had not been given the spot-kick Newell demanded. "I winced a bit when it happened," he said.

Luton had held sway for much of the game but did not create many clear chances. Lee Mansell lifted a close-range effort over the bar inside the first minute and the Tranmere goalkeeper, John Achterberg, also tipped Mansell's close-range header over later in the first half.

Tranmere were equally bereft of chances until Mellon, one of six players booked in a physical game, strode across the halfway line and advanced to the edge of the box before sending the winner past Marlon Beresford.

Goals: Mellon (81) 0-1.

Luton: Beresford, Foley, Coyne, Boyce, Davis, Nicholls (Crowe, 85), Holmes, Mansell (Keane, 61), Leary, Showunmi, Berkovic. Substitutes not used: Davies, Brill, O'Leary.

Bookings: Luton: Leary, Holmes. Tranmere: Mellon, Sharps, Taylor.

Tranmere: Achterberg, Allen, Sharps, Jones, Roberts, Mellon, Taylor, Harrison, Hume, Dadi (Hay, 90), Beresford. Substitutes not used: Connelly, Howarth, Navarro, Linwood.

Referee: M Messias (N Yorkshire).

Attendance: 8,767.

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