Ryan Inniss picked up the fourth red card in just 41 league appearances for Charlton Athletic – but boss Ben Garner refused to lay the blame at his door for his dismissal against Milton Keynes.
The central defender was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Louie Brown that led to a penalty for League One’s basement side midway through the second half – although replays suggest the foul was outside the area.
Will Grigg converted from the spot, before Bradley Johnson added a second with a fine free-kick to sentence the Addicks to a first defeat at home this season and a first in six league games.
Garner said: “I’ve not really spoken to [Inniss]. I’ve spoken to them as a group. He’ll be disappointed but he’s had two red cards this season and for me neither of them are red cards.
“If Ryan does something where I think it’s a poor decision in relation to the team or he does something silly, then I’ll address it. But I think the two red cards he’s had this season are incorrect decisions so I can’t hold any blame on him for that.
“I don’t think it’s a foul, first and foremost. He’s taken the defender’s line and it’s shoulder to shoulder. The forward has gone down every easily. It’s two yards outside the box. It’s a poor decision. I spoke to [the referee] briefly after the game and said: ‘You have to be 100 per cent sure it’s a penalty’ and he said he was.
“It’s two yards outside the box and it’s not a foul. Disappointing. The free-kick where they get the second goal, it’s so clear that Dobbo [George Dobson] gets the ball. I don’t know what he’s looking at. But if we’re better before that and go ahead in the game maybe those decisions don’t happen. We’ve got to focus on what we can improve but it’s frustrating.
“But other than that, in control of the game,” added the Addicks boss, who saw his side’s three-game winning run ended abruptly.
“We just needed a little bit more tempo to our game, a little bit more speed. A bit more cutting edge.
“We addressed that at half-time and started the second half really well. We were on the front foot. We pinned them in. We were creating positions and opportunities. I just felt the goal was coming.
“The penalty and red card changes the game. The free-kick changes the game further. Gives us a mountain to climb. One of those evenings.
“For the amount of possession we had, we didn’t create enough. They sat 5-4-1 and made it difficult. We needed that greater tempo on the ball and a little more urgency. We had it start of the second half, a really good 15-minute spell where I thought they were tiring. Sometimes you have to wear them down. We weren’t as good with the ball as we were on Saturday.”
PICTURES: PAUL EDWARDS
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