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‘Never A Red!’ Brighton Fans Seethe At Martin Atkinson After Controversial Sending Off In Cardiff Clash

Brighton's Dale Stephens saw red before half-time
Brighton's Dale Stephens saw red before half-time

An eventful early Saturday lunch-time kick-off saw Brighton & Hove Albion travelling to South Wales to take on struggling Cardiff City.

Less than 10 minutes after the hosts had levelled the scoring through Callum Paterson - cancelling out Lewis Dunk’s opener - Dale Stephens was controversially sent off, leading to a scruffy scuffle between the two sets of players.

Brighton’s Dale Stephens determinedly steamrolled into Cardiff left-back Greg Cunningham after losing possession and was given a straight red card by Martin Atkinson , with the players getting a bit raucous and engaging in a handbags shoving match, as Cunningham lay prone on the ground.

Stephens’ was a reckless tackle and studs were showing.

However, a poll conducted by The Sportsman showed that most football fans had the opposite opinion to Atkinson, and that the tackle wasn’t in fact deserving of a early shower for Stephens.

On social media, the decision elicited a passionate response, with most of the fans’ ire directed in the way of the referee, with @ric_oneill asking, ‘Is Martin Atkinson actually Welsh?, with @JoshWhitto concurring that he should ‘find a new job’. @yorker129_7 said that Atkinson had ‘lost’ the game, being ‘Too reliant on the crowd’.

@popeyedoyle referenced the Cardiff City manager’s notorious style, ‘Never a red card in Neil Warnock’s world. Too soft!’ suggesting that if the roles had been reversed than Warnock would have been incensed if it had resulted in just 10 Bluebirds on the pitch.

@BobbyRole’s opinion differed, stating that it was a ‘straight red no doubt, studs showing, over the ball. Lads lucky Stephens just grazed him’.

Frustration was obvious for both sides, with one observer (@CumaeanSybil) commenting that Cardiff manager Neil Warnock ‘has a look of a world weary off duty drag queen’.

The tie eventually finished 2-1 to the home side at the Cardiff City Stadium, thanks to Sol Bamba’s last minute goal. Bamba wasn’t booked for removing his shirt in elation after getting all three points for his side.

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