Lewis Dunk described Lee Mason’s decision to rule out his goal at West Brom as “embarrassing and horrendous” and claimed the referee lost control of the game as Brighton slipped to a controversial defeat.
Brighton lost 1-0 at The Hawthorns amid farcical scenes sparked by the official.
Mason disallowed and then allowed a Dunk free-kick before VAR finally ruled the goal out during a chaotic five minutes.
Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck also missed penalties as Brighton remain four points above the Premier League relegation zone.
It all came after Kyle Bartley’s early winner gave Albion just their second victory under Sam Allardyce, leaving them eight points from safety.
“It’s embarrassing, it’s a horrendous decision,” Dunk told Sky Sports. “I said to the ref ‘can I take it?’, he blew his whistle, and I took it.
“Just because there was so much pressure from the bench. Why doesn’t he come and speak to the press like me? Never, they hide behind their bubble.
“I don’t think he knew what he was doing. He gave the goal, why did he give it? I don’t know why VAR was getting involved, he said ‘goal’… you can look on the video if you want.
“Had he lost control of the game? Yeah, he did. Fact.”
Dunk’s comments come after Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo was fined £25,000 for saying Mason was not good enough to be in the Premier League in December.
Brighton boss Graham Potter remained calm but insisted he was in the dark over why the goal was disallowed.
He added: “I’m still not clear what the second whistle was for. I asked why he was okay to blow in the first place to allow the quick one. It’s frustrating.”
Stelling: This is a shambles
Dunk’s disallowed goal was slammed as a “shameful, disgraceful piece of nonsense” by Jeff Stelling.
The Soccer Saturday host was in disbelief as Paul Merson described events at The Hawthorns.
“This is a shambles. Lee Mason, what have you done?” Stelling questioned, as the Soccer Saturday team watched on.
“VAR has given no goal and now he is going to look at the screen. This is a total, utter, shameful, disgraceful, piece of nonsense!
“This is the dream team of Lee Mason and Simon Hooper, who is the VAR at the moment. You could not make this up.”
Merson added: “I’ve never seen anything like this. He’s completely out of control.”
How the controversy unfolded…
Sky Sports’ Oliver Yew:
28: FOUL! Gallagher bundles over Mac Allister right on the edge of the West Brom penalty area. A chance for the visitors to respond…
29: NO GOAL! Dunk takes an early free-kick and he puts the ball in the back of the net while Johnstone is still lining up his wall. The referee appears not happy with the quick free-kick and the goal will not stand. However, it appears Lee Mason did blow his whistle, so surely the goal should stand! Brighton are not happy!
GOAL! WEST BROM 1-1 BRIGHTON (Dunk, 29) Hang on, the goal now appears to have been given! What is going on here?
West Brom are now furious! There will also be a VAR check…
32: NO GOAL! This is a real mess! The goal has now not been given! Confused? Well, so am I!
33: The referee has gone over to the touchline and he has explained to both managers what has happened. It appears he did blow his whistle, but there was another blast of the whistle before the ball hit the back of the net. The game will be restarted with the free-kick. Just to clarify, it’s West Brom still leading through Bartley’s early goal if you’d forgotten.
35: SAVE! Dunk strikes the free-kick again, but this time Johnstone is ready and makes the save.
We move on but that’s certainly not the last we’ll hear of that incident…
What the managers said…
West Brom boss Sam Allardyce: “The referee blew the whistle twice so that was why it was disallowed. Lee Mason came over and explained the situation regarding that – the only way we can avoid it is to put someone on the ball and don’t move back until the referee moves you back. I thought everybody had to get set.”
Brighton boss Graham Potter: “As far as I know, Lewis Dunk asked to take the free-kick quickly and the referee said yes. In between that, there was another whistle. I don’t know what that whistle was for. It would be nice for a bit more clarification. I don’t know what the second whistle is for. I don’t understand that.
“The confusion is on the pitch and it gets worse when someone outside this area is making the decisions. It is what it is. We’ve not helped ourselves with the two penalties so I cannot put it all down to that [disallowed goal]. We need to improve and get better at that [taking penalties]. We’re never going to get two better chances. We have to stay calm.”