Boro boss says defender could feel hard done by

BORO boss Graham Westley said he felt Luke Foster could feel hard done by after the defender was sent off against Burton Albion.

Foster had replaced Mark Roberts after the Boro captain, already on a yellow card, was given a final warning by match referee Trevor Kettle, but the substitute lasted just 19 minutes before he was given his marching orders after he tangled with Shaun Harrad on the edge of the Boro box.

“Fozzie’s obviously very upset,” Westley said afterwards.

“It’s bizarre; you make a change to avoid Robbo walking. He’d been given his final warning and the way the game was they were obviously going to throw things at us and there was always the chance you could have something silly happen so we’ve replaced Robbo with Fozzie then that goes and happens.

“I thought the two players’ legs came together – I would do wouldn’t I, I’m the manager who had the player sent off – (but) he felt it was harsh, I certainly felt it was harsh and their bench told us there was a handball from the player in any event so we’re going to feel a little disappointed with that.”

Asked if the club would appeal the red card, Westley said: “Sometimes you’ve just got to take it on the chin and we will.”

Chris Holroyd had already missed an eighth-minute penalty before Scott Laird converted a second spot kick midway through the first half to give Boro a half-time lead, but Aaron Webster levelled matters just after the break to get his side back into the game.

“It’s a shame we didn’t score both of them,” Westley said, “but it’s good to see the positivity of the team and us getting after them and deserving to go in with a 1-0 lead.

“I think it would have been a fair reflection of the game if it had been three or four by half time. (Jon) Ashton hit the bar, the two penalties, (John) Mousinho missed an open goal, WInny (Peter Winn) blasted one over when it was easier to score, so there were plenty of very, very good chances and our clinicality was something that nearly cost us.

“We talked at half time about them pulling together a response to what I’m sure they felt was a disappointing first half and you’ve always got to be prepared for that.

“They made a change, got a little fire burning inside themselves and they came after us after half time. We weren’t proactive enough and didn’t respond in the right way and we let them get that goal.

“But credit to the players. It would be easy under those circumstances to let them take the initiative and keep the initiative but we didn’t. We got back into the game and scored a cracking goal.”

Holroyd made up for his earlier penalty miss by putting his side 2-1 ahead, but Boro also had goalkeeper Chris Day to thank for an outstanding save from Aaron Webster’s free kick as the visitors looked to equalise for a second time.

“It was a magnificent piece of goalkeeping,” Westley said. “(Day) will be disappointed with one or two moments where there’s been a little bit of indecision between him and his defenders.

“He’s not been strong enough off his line, decisive enough off his line, but he earned his corn there.

“That’s what we’ve come to expect from him. You sometimes take it for granted when goalkeepers make brilliant saves but they’re as important as goals going in at the other end.”