Johnson: City should receive apology

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Bristol City manager Gary Johnson has been told referee Rob Shoebridge did not award Freddie Sears' phantom 'goal' because of "an infringement" and believes it is his club, not Crystal Palace, that should get an apology from referees chief Keith Hackett.

Johnson has come in for criticism from Palace boss Neil Warnock and his chairman Simon Jordan following Shoebridge's decision not to award a goal for the Eagles in Saturday's game despite Sears' shot clearly bouncing out of the net. The pair believe Johnson should have told the official it was a goal, or allowed Palace to score immediately, while referees chief Hackett has apologised to Palace for the mistake and temporarily relieved Shoebridge of his duties.

But Johnson told talkSPORT he does not believe that is necessary as the match assessor told him exactly why the goal was not awarded, saying: "I've made a few phone calls to find out exactly what happened so it stops all the speculation. I've spoken to the assessor of the game and at that actual incident, just after the ball went into the net, the linesman put his flag in to the air."

The Robins boss added: "The referee ran over to the linesman who was still standing with his flag in the air and obviously spoke to him.

"At this point nobody knew why the goal was not given. We all saw the ball hit the back of the net. Then the referee didn't give the goal so at the end we asked the referee why the goal wasn't given and he said 'for an infringement'.

"That doesn't make me a cheat, a liar or unsporting. That's what's in the report and I think he [Keith Hackett] needs to apologise to Bristol City fans, players and management now. They are the facts that will come out of the report of that event."

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Freddie Sears
Bristol City
Freddie Sears
Crystal Palace

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