SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson questioned the wisdom of referee Michael Oliver’s appointment after a dramatic comeback from Sheffield Wednesday denied his team the derby day spoils.
United appeared to be on the brink of victory after first-half strikes from Stephen Quinn and Ched Evans put them in the driving seat against Gary Megson’s side.
But late efforts from Chris O’Grady and Gary Madine saw Wednesday claim a point in controversial circumstances with Wilson claiming the latter’s equaliser should have been disallowed for a foul.
Insisting United goalkeeper Steve Simonsen had been “wiped-out” by Reda Johnson, Wilson revealed he had expressed concerns about allowing the 26-year-old official to take charge before yesterday’s clash at Bramall Lane.
Describing Madine’s intervention as a “killer,” Wilson said: “The referee got that decision wrong.
“Madine makes a good header but Johnson wipes the ‘keeper out.
“The ref sees it because he puts his whistle to his mouth but then decides not to blow.
“When we needed some help in that department, we didn’t get it.
“The ref couldn’t look me in the eye afterwards. He just wanted to get in to his room as quick as possible which is about right because he doesn’t want a little dwarf like me having a go at him.
“But he got that one wrong.”
Quinn admitted the final result “felt like a defeat” and acknowledged his team mates were “gutted” after letting their lead slip.
On the balance of play, Wednesday deserved to take something from a typically robust encounter.
But with Megson’s men failing to put United’s defence under concerted pressure until the closing moments, the hosts should not have let the result slip from their grasp.
Wilson said: “I’ve got no problems with Michael whatsoever. I just want to understand the decision as to why, with so much Premier League experience out there, he was given a Steel City derby?
“It’s not an indictment of him. Far from it.
“But we did voice our concerns prior to the game.”
United return to League One action at Preston on Wednesday with Wilson revealing Harry Maguire could be a doubt after taking a blow to his knee.
But the former Northern Ireland international confirmed Michael Doyle, a notable omission from United’s team sheet, is fit.
Wilson, who included new loan signings Billy Clarke and Matt Phillips on the bench, said: “Michael is okay. We just decided to go with an extra striker.
“With only five substitutes allowed now, he’s been very unfortunate like a lot of the other lads who weren’t involved.”