Tempers flare with two players getting themselves sent off in a full time brawl at West Brom v Cardiff on Sunday afternoon.
Both Sam Johnstone and Aden Flint saw red, after West Brom were denied a last minute penalty, a melee involving most of the players broke out because of an alleged push from Cardiff’s Marlon Pack on Conor Townsend in the Bluebirds’ penalty area.
The referee Thomas Bramall decided not to give a spot-kick, with the Championship encounter finishing in a 1-1 draw between the two sides.
Callum Robinson cancelled out James Collins’ 34th-minute opener to earn Albion a point, but the scoring was overshadowed by the multiple disciplinary incidents.
The Baggies had already had midfielder Alex Mowatt sent off as their stuttering form in the Championship extended to three games without a win.
The mass confrontation at the final whistle seemed to be sparked by Albion head coach Valerien Ismael marching onto the pitch, which preceded the latter two dismissals.
Albion had missed two early chances to take the lead. Karlan Grant cut inside from the left and crashed a fierce, low drive wide of the far post and Robinson went even closer with a superb curling shot that was met by an equally fine one-handed save from goalkeeper Alex Smithies.
Cardiff’s first threat came in the 34th minute – and within seconds, they took the lead.
Joe Ralls’ stabbed effort deflected just wide off Matt Clarke after Cedric Kipre headed away a long throw-in, but Collins beat Clarke to meet the resulting corner swung in by Ralls with a glancing header past Johnstone.
New Albion signing and United States international Daryl Dike was paraded in front of the crowd at half-time.
The 21-year-old striker’s presence seemed to have the desired effect as the Baggies equalised in the 48th minute. Grant produced a superb reverse pass to pick out Robinson, who kept his cool to beat Smithies with a left-footed finish.
West Brom substitute Grady Diangana was quick to make an impression. The winger stung the fingers of Smithies with a rising shot, then saw his follow-up from the rebound headed away by Flint.
The game had opened up and Cardiff responded with a Will Vaulks shot that flew over the bar, before Ralls sliced high and wide.
Vaulks was then the victim of a lunging tackle by Mowatt on the touchline which saw the midfielder sent off 14 minutes from time – and then came the fireworks at the final whistle.
What the managers said…
West Brom’s Valerien Ismael: “It’s a clear penalty – I can’t say anything else, it’s a penalty. We can’t change anything now. It’s frustrating – at some point you need the luck that the referee does his job. It was not only the penalty decision – some decisions were for us, some against us – in my opinion it was a poor refereeing performance.
“I just wanted to tell him I couldn’t understand why he didn’t give the penalty. The situation came and my emotion was high because it was at the end of the game, but I came down quickly.”
Cardiff’s Steve Morison: “It was all caused by them having a stonewall penalty and the referee not giving it. We were thankful he didn’t give it, but as for the two sendings-off at the end, I think they grabbed each other to stop the other doing what they were going to do.
“Nothing happened – that happens all the time in a game. I will appeal it – as I’m sure they will – but I’m sure the powers that be will overturn it as they tend to back the referee. Hopefully we don’t lose Aden Flint and common sense will prevail.”
Twitter users reacted after seeing tempers flare with two players sent off in a full time brawl at West Brom v Cardiff…
@HardwellSam: Worst assistant refs I’ve ever bloody seen since Chelsea (H). Hopefully they’ll be assessed. The other linesman gave a dodgy offside call and said “That *One* was offside”. That was mad
@gjrcslm: Absolute joke, was about to put his flag up then thought nah don’t fancy the backlash of home fans behind me.
@JamesHamiltonGK: Ok the ref had a poor game but our discipline is dreadful.
@Matthew_John98: These officials are an absolute joke to be honest!
@shelleex5: love val ❤ enraged by that referee abysmal and poor decision against us! 1000% a penalty all day! shows you how much Val cares for our baggies
@Callumjmoore94: Times up Ishmael, loosing your head like that and ended up getting Sam sent off. Poor football, need to act quick
@TheMapReader: Ha, is Johnstone not responsible for his own actions?
@AlecSetalvad: Discipline (or lack thereof) right through, stems from the manager
@ChrisJG1988: To be fair, that is a clear penalty, but IF your goal was offside then it’s all equalled out, normal standard of @EFL refereeing, they ruin the game time and time again
@_N47H4N: Those red cards for Johnstone and Flint look very harsh, it’s a bit of grappling you see it every week and worse go punished. #WBA
@jackmafia21: Johnstone red card? Looked like Flint as well?.. All kicking off after full time, fucking farce of a decision on the penalty as per, but Val has lost it big time. On the pitch, any coincidence that Lai was there today? #wba
@svens58: If only they showed that level of commitment during the 90 minutes.
@JoeyL14: Scenes that everybody wants to see at the West Brom vs Cardiff final whistle. Let’s see if the FA start handing out two match bans for failing to leave the pitch after red cards (surely it’s not just an institutional vendetta against Jeff?? 👀)
@ftblchaz: Sam Johnstone smashed the training room door up #wbafc
@ShannonGuestie: Sam Johnstone this is not Sunday league pal 😂