Dean Smith: “I’ve no idea why it’s been chalked off.”

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Aston Villa boss Dean Smith and his side were left reeling following a 96th-minute Henri Lansbury strike which was controversially disallowed by match official Kevin Friend.

in the build-up to the goal, Jack Grealish appeared to blatantly fouled in the box following a challenge by Wilfried Zaha, and then again by Gary Cahill. The Villa skipper was then booked for ‘simulation’ by Kevin Friend. It was a decision that baffled the Villa players, and manager Dean Smith.

“I can’t tell you an awful lot to be honest”, said Smith on the disallowed goal. “I think it’s a really good goal. Jack gets nudged in the back from Zaza when he’s running through, puts him off balance, and Cahill comes in with a tackle as he’s laying the ball off, and he goes to the ground. 

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“He’s not looking for the penalty, he’s not dived or simulated in any way, and he slots it off to Henry, who puts it in the back of the net. I’ve no idea why it’s been chalked off. I’m sure the referee, his officials and the people at Stockwell Park are the only ones who can tell us why it was disallowed today. 

“I didn’t think that we were great in all honesty, I thought that we started the game quite well in the first 20 minutes, I thought we controlled the game, but we let them back in it by being a bit too passive, and we didn’t get our triggers right in terms of our press, and I thought that we allowed them into our half too easy. 

“We corrected that at the start of the second-half, I thought we played really well, and then I thought the officials ‘got it right’ with Trez (Trezeguet) with a second yellow card, it was silly challenge and I feel that he’ll earn from that. 

“It’s always tough then, being at a numerical disadvantage in the Premier League, and we din’t want to sit back, we wanted to go 4-3-2, and try to great a couple of chances, which we did, but we had to soak up a lot of pressure. 

“We’ve got a group of players who are honest, and lay their bodies on the line as you saw today, but there’s a resilience they show, and the spirit that they’ve got and I feel for them today.”

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