Allardyce livid at ref calls after cup dream dies


WEST Ham manager Sam Allardyce risked a fine from the Football Association with his criticism of referee Phil Dowd after Manchester United ended his team’s FA Cup campaign in last night’s third round replay.

Allardyce was furious that Dowd awarded United a penalty, which Wayne Rooney could not convert to add to his earlier strike, but rejected a similar claim from the visitors.

Hammers defender Jordan Spence was penalised for handball 11 minutes from time, while United full-back Rafael escaped punishment following a similar incident shortly after half-time.

“There’s no doubt about the difference between Rafael’s handball and Jordan Spence’s: Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home side at Old Trafford,” said Allardyce.

“With Rafael, the ball hits his hand but no penalty is given. With Jordan Spence, the ball hits his hand and it’s a penalty. You see it time and time again at Old Trafford. The ref did not see Rafael’s handball because of his position. But he was in a worse position to see Jordan Spence’s than Rafael’s.”

Rooney, in his first appearance since suffering an injury over Christmas, slid in to convert Javier Hernandez’s cross form close range and set up a fourth round tie with Fulham after just nine minutes. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson hinted afterwards that 39-year-old Ryan Giggs, who captained the side, would play on next term into a 24th season.