Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt calls for VAR after red card cock-up

IAN Evatt has renewed his call for Video Assistant Referees to be employed across the whole Football League after last night’s red card cock-up against Forest Green.

The Wanderers boss has called for officials – who are part-time in League One and Two – to be given more help to make more consistently correct calls.

Bolton beat Forest Green 1-0 at the University of Bolton Stadium but not before a controversial call from referee Tom Nield and his assistant Darren Williams, who incorrectly identified Dion Charles in a penalty area skirmish, issuing the striker with a straight red card.

Video replays have clearly shown that Elias Kachunga was guilty of lashing out at Rovers defender Brandon Cooper but he remained on the pitch until being replaced by MJ Williams in the second half.

Fourth official Ollie Yates was unable to use replays to advise the two on-pitch officials of their error and Evatt believes the confusion shows why the EFL must push for the use of VAR in all four divisions.

“Football should be equal throughout,” he said. “We know there is a huge amount of money at the top of the game but it is equally important at this level, it means just as much as it does to any Premier League team, so why can’t we be consistent across the board?

“I keep saying there is enough finance in the game for us to be able to have VAR, for every division of elite football in the pyramid. There is no doubt in my mind.

“It is almost like we are giving the Premier League more importance than the other leagues.

“The Championship are alright because they have the goal-line stuff but they are not allowed VAR – come on – this is equally as important to get right as any Premier League team, so let’s be consistent across the board.”

Evatt felt the numbers could have been levelled up early in the second half when Cooper – who had previously been booked – tangled with Kyle Dempsey on the edge of the penalty box and he tried to run in on goal.

“It is definitely a foul, and he is already on a yellow card,” he added.

“From my perspective, Dempsey is running towards goal. Again, it is disappointing.”

Evatt was impressed at the way his 10 players saw out the remaining 68 minutes of the game without keeper James Trafford being overtly tested.

“The best thing about tonight was how calm we stayed,” the manager added. “It was calm, it was focussed, we knew what job we needed to do.

“In fact, there was an element of enjoyment on the players’ faces and at half time they were like ‘they are not going to score!’ I could see it in their eyes.

“They were determined, they knew their roles, and we almost went into a five box – for those who understand the tactical language – and waited for the pressing triggers. And their discipline to do that was great.

“It isn’t easy to break down 10 men and Forest Green, credit to them, tried to do it by playing intricate football the way we try to do it. Sometimes that is difficult against 10.

“We limited them to very little, maybe one or two moments, but other than that the way we bought into it was fantastic.”