Current Sunderland boss, Phil Parkinson, desperately blamed the match officials for our latest defeat. Sunderland had a Charlie Wyke goal disallowed for offside and lost out to an 89th minute Gillingham winner. Parkinson, who has now lost eight games from 12 since he took over, said: “I haven’t seen the referee properly yet but what he said as we were walking off was that it wasn’t Charlie that was offside, it was Luke O’Nien in an offside position. He felt he impeded the goalkeeper. Our argument was so why didn’t the flag go up straight away? I think with the protests of the Gillingham players, they have almost guessed and changed their mind. When you need a bit of something to go for you, when that was disallowed it was a blow for us. We deserved something from the game, to give us something to hang on to would have given us a huge lift. I think the linesman has guessed, if he was offside why didn’t his flag go up initially? I think they have panicked and changed their mind. The officials that come here know they will be under pressure. They have to handle it. That moment was costly for us. If he puts his flag up straight away I would understand it.”

Parkinson added: “The sheer volume of set plays and balls into the box, we had dealt with them really well, then we gave a free-kick away, resulted from that we ended up conceding the goal. It was a massive disappointment. We just had to see that set play through and if we got a point we’d have taken that all day. It was a blow to concede so late in the game. The lads gave us absolutely everything.”

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