BRIAN Stock has criticised referee Paul Tierney for the first of his two yellow cards, which left the Clarets playing for almost an hour with 10 men in their FA Cup defeat at Barnsley.
The midfielder was a victim of mistaken identity as he was booked following an off-the-ball incident between Michael Duff and Marlon Harewood.
Players from both sides told Tierney he had got it wrong.
But the match official refused to back down, and when Stock was later penalised for a foul on Jim O’Brien the 31-year-old was given his marching orders before the break, with Burnley going on to concede in the 85th minute.
Brian Jensen returned to the side for the first time since September, but his goalkeeping error led to substitute Danny Rose scoring from close range to knock the Clarets out of the FA Cup third round.
It was the red card, however, which Stock felt was the big turning point in the tie.
“Obviously the sending off has a big impact in the game,” he said.
“The first yellow card I think the referee’s booked me by mistake. I don’t know what he was seeing, and it wasn’t just me. Fair play to players like Marlon Harewood who was trying to tell the referee he was booking the wrong person.
“Usually you get players nowadays who want the opposition booked but they were shouting at the ref not to book me.
“I’d made a foul about two minutes before that and whether that was in the back of his mind I don’t know, but I don’t know what he’s seen for the first yellow card, I really don’t.
“The referee didn’t give me a reason as to what he booked me for, he just said ‘I’ve seen it’ and he said it numerous times. He never actually said I’d done anything, which was a bit confusing.
“We’ve seen it back on the replay – I got pushed in the back and then hit in the back of the head. It was a double whammy really, and to my surprise I got booked for it.”
Stock added: “Maybe I should have probably done better in not getting booked for the second one. It’s not often I get sent off and I’ve never been sent off for two yellow cards so cheaply.
“You’re thinking ‘I’m treading a tightrope here’ but maybe he could have let that one go because of how harsh the first one was. But I’ve not really got too many complaints about the second one. As soon as it happened I thought to myself ‘this could be it’.
“I knew I was booked and that’s why I’m probably a bit disappointed in myself with my experience over the years. I haven’t been sent off for almost eight years. I’ve been booked loads of times but managed to see games through using my head really. So it’s disappointing on my part to get booked a second time so quickly.”
But even after going down to 10 men so early in the game, Stock was still hopeful of at least taking Barnsley to a replay.
“We went down to 10 men against Charlton for the majority of the game and we reacted really well there and were unlucky not to get a result, and I think the same here,” said the 31-year-old.
“All credit to the lads that dug in, it was probably a soft goal to concede on our part and it was a bit of luck for them.
“Those goals sometimes happen and unfortunately we’re out of the cup.”