West Bromwich Albion's manager, Tony Mowbray, faces an FA hearing after going on the pitch at full-time to argue what he called the "gross injustice" of Sheffield Wednesday's equaliser in a stormy finale in the Championship at The Hawthorns last night.
Mowbray marched to the penalty area to berate the referee, Nigel Miller, for allowing a goal by the former Albion midfielder Steve Watson six minutes into stoppage time. It was not just that the fateful shot came three minutes beyond time signified by the fourth official, but also because Marcus Tudgay appeared to barge Carl Hoefkens off the ball in the build-up.
"The referee said he would be reporting the conversations I had with him on the pitch and in his room," Mowbray said. "It's very hard to take. There were some strange decisions. We had a goal ruled out that I've watched four times and can't see anything wrong with, then we were denied right at the end what we richly deserved. Our performance was first-class."
Only Wednesday will know how they escaped after Kevin Phillips marked his 50th Albion start by heading home Paul Robinson's cross after 77 minutes of almost total domination.
Phillips was carried off four minutes later with a knee injury, leaving Albion, their three substitutes used, with 10 men and more overtime after Robinson received lengthy treatment with the game already in injury time.
Leapfrogging Bristol City into second place will be scant consolation for West Bromwich. They had further grievance midway through the first half when Frank Simek turned Ishmael Miller's cross into his own net, only for Phillips to be flagged offside. When Phillips turned to shoot against the inside of the post from Jonathan Greening's corner, they probably suspected it wasn't their night.
Wednesday, who did the double over Albion last season, had little to offer other than tenacious defending and off-target headers by Richard Hinds and Tudgay.
Even their manager Brian Laws, taking charge for the 50th time and celebrating his first anniversary, admitted: "We had a shade of luck. I think West Brom are a sensational side, the best in the division."
West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Kiely; Hofkens, Albrechtsen (Pele, 39), Cesar, Robinson; Gera (Brunt, 75), Greening, Koren, Teixeira (Morrison, 64); Phillips, Miller. Substitutes not used: Bednar, MacDonald, Brunt.
Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Grant; Simek, Hinds, Beevers, Spurr; Johnson (Small, 67), Watson, Whelan, O'Brien (Burton, 72); Sodje (Esajas, 86), Tudgay. Substitutes not used: Folly, Bullen.
Referee: N Miller (Durham).Reuse content