Southend United manager Steve Tilson has blamed yesterday's officials for 'ruining the game'. The Shrimpers boss was fuming about the decision to show a red card to debutant defender Sean Morrison half an hour into the match, and also disputed the free kick that led to Yeovil scoring the winning goal through Dean Bowditch.
Speaking to BBC Radio Essex, Tilson suggested that Yeovil had 'run out of ideas' by the time the winning goal went in, and that defender Adam Barrett was covering play for the red card, meaning that Morrison was to his eyes, not the last man:
"It was a game where, for me, the officials have ruined the game. I haven't seen the DVD, but it looks like Adam Barrett is covering. I just don't see that as a sending off. Saying that, I thought the lads were excellent in the second half and Yeovil had run out of ideas, to be fair. Again, they get a free kick that for me isn't a free kick, and not only that, apparently the goal is handballed in. So for me, I'm so disappointed because I feel that we've certainly done enough to get a point in the end, even with being down to 10 men for so long. The lads have dug in and worked hard, and I thought they were excellent in the second half."
Tilson also accused referee David Phillips of changing his mind over the sending off incident, claiming that he had been assuring the Southend players that he would be only cautioning the Swindon Town loanee:
"For the sending off, the referee has told Sean (Morrison) four times that it was a yellow card and then all of a sudden, as he's called him over, he's given him a red card. It's a decision that has put us down to 10 men with a long time to go. Irrelevant of what happens now, that decision has cost us getting something. He (the referee) has made three major decisions, including the handball for the goal and the free kick, and they've gone in Yeovil's favour - every one of them. And to be honest, I thought there were some strange decisions from the linesman as well."
The Shrimpers boss did acknowledge that his goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall - back at his old club yesterday - had kept Southend in the game during the first half:
"He made a couple of really important saves in the first half that kept us in it, and like I've said, I thought Yeovil ran out of ideas in the second half. Then you have a set play that probably wasn't, and that has got them the three points today."
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