Johnson slams referee display

Defender Roger Johnson could face Football Association action after calling referee Martin Atkinson “a disgrace” in the aftermath of Birmingham City’s derby defeat to Aston Villa.

Johnson was incensed after his 83rd minute tackle on Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor resulted in a penalty.

James Milner converted the spot-kick to secure a 1-0 win for the home side and afterwards Johnson vented his frustration at the match official.

“The referee was a disgrace,” he declared.“He’s ruined the match and clearly shouldn’t be doing these kind of games – it was too big for him.

“I got the ball cleanly, everyone could see that and the ref can’t make a decision if he’s not sure. The rules say if you’re not sure, you don’t give a penalty.

“Villa are at home, they’ve got the crowd behind them and the ref has made a split-second decision which is plain wrong.”

Blues boss Alex McLeish also questioned the contentious late decision made by the Leeds-based official.

“I shook his hand at the end as I always do with the refs and said: ‘you called it wrong, the big decision and you didn’t get it right, I didn’t think you were up with the play to make that call’,” he explained.

“He clearly wasn’t up with the play. Because of Agbonlahor on the break it is difficult for referees to keep up but it wasn’t a clear-cut decision and you can’t give it if you’re not sure.

“Mr Atkinson has got to hold his hands up.”

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