Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell gives his reaction to Carabao Cup defeat at Bristol Rovers

Harry Kewell, Crawley Town SUS-180517-130816001
Harry Kewell, Crawley Town SUS-180517-130816001

Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell believed his side played well enough to progress to the second round of the Carabao Cup.

He was impressed with the way Reds played against higher-rated League One opposition and disappointed they didn’t get the rub of the green in the controversial closing stages of the tie.

Speaking to the Crawley Town website he said: “It was an extremely frustrating. I felt we held our own against a League One side and deserved a lot more.

“We were physically strong, we tried to play against a decent side and we kept going.

“On another night we might have been the team going through to the next round.”

Kewell disagreed with referee Lee Swabey’s decision to turn down a penalty appeal for a handball in the area.

He got booked for protesting and then substitute Dominic Poleon picked up the first of two bookings which led to him being sent-off.

Kewell said: “When a defender spreads his arms and the ball hits the arm it’s a penalty.

“Dom gets booked out of total frustration and then there’s the incident where he got a second yellow.

“There’s a collision, both players get up and they boot the ball away when it should have been a drop ball on the edge of their box.

“I didn’t understand that decision – the referee has said things which my players have contradicted.

“You cannot plan for human error and it’s very disappointing.

“Dom gets a second yellow, again borne out of frustration, which means we will be without him on Saturday at Port Vale.”

Kewell was pleased with the form showed by his new signings making their first starts: Rob Milsom, Tarryn Allarahkia and Reece Grego-Cox.

He said: “We looked fit and strong. The youngsters who came in were excellent and I thought Rob Milsom did a job as well.

“It’s a case of getting minutes under their belts for some of these guys and I thought there were lots of positives for us.”

Match report: Bristol Rovers 2 Crawley Town 1 - Reds knocked out of Carabao Cup in controversial style as Poleon sent-off