Top ref backs Holloway fury over ‘woeful’ Mason

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway

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LEE Mason’s performance in the Seasiders’ defeat by Arsenal on Sunday has been called into question by a refereeing colleague.

Former Premier League official Graham Poll believes Mason went from “wonderful to woeful” at Bloomfield Road and claimed Ian Holloway was right to be angry.

The Pool boss waited almost an hour after the game to ask the officials to explain some decisions.

Holloway felt Mason’s failure to give a penalty for a foul on Gary Taylor-Fletcher cost Pool dear as his side were on top and only trailing 2-1 at the time.

In his national newspaper column, Poll said: “Lee Mason went from wonderful to woeful with his inconsistent decisions at Bloomfield Road and Ian Holloway was rightly incensed.

“The Lancashire official played two superb advantages to help Blackpool make it 2-1. He let play continue after a heavy challenge by Jack Wilshere.

“Then – in an incident just like when Jens Lehmann was sent off in the 2006 Champions League final for bringing down Barcelona’s Samuel Eto’o and a penalty was given despite Ludovic Giuly knocking the ball in – he allowed Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s goal, despite Lehmann bringing down DJ Campbell.

“The rules changed a few years ago, so that if a goal is scored the last man is only sent off if he uses violent conduct.”

Mason was right to apply the second advantage but played on when Taylor-Fletcher was brought down by Laurent Koscielny right in front of him minutes later.

“Blackpool were as furious as they had been when Emmanuel Eboue escaped sanction for hitting Charlie Adam in the face.”

Not everyone was as sympathetic towards Holloway.

Welsh striker turned TV pundit John Hartson criticised the Blackpool boss for waiting to speak to Mason after the game.

Hartson said: “We love listening to Ian Holloway. He’s very, very honest but to go into the dressing room afterwards, what’s the point of that?

“The result stands, the referee can’t do anything about it and all the supporters have gone home. There’s nothing you can do.

“He’s raging and his team are fighting for their lives, I understand that. But by going in the dressing room, other than getting an explanation, you’re not going to gain anything.”