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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Monday, 13 December 2010

Kris Commons fury at referee Darren Sheldrake

Bristol City v Derby County

Bristol City 2-0 Derby

Derby County striker Kris Commons says a disgraceful decision by referee Darren Sheldrake was the reason why the Rams lost to Bristol City on Saturday.

Commons was incensed that Sheldrake only gave David James a yellow card when he tried to round the goalkeeper with the score at 0-0.

"The referee was an absolute disgrace," a furious Commons told BBC Radio Derby after the 2-0 defeat at Ashton Gate.

"If it was any other keeper, at any other ground, it would be a red card."

Commons, whose side have now lost three matches in a row, added: "We had been dominating the game when it was 11 versus 11 and if he [James] had been sent off, I think we would have won the game three or four nil.

Anyone in the stadium could see it was a red card. The referee is the only one who can explain what he's seen

Kris Commons

"I think the decision not to send him off had a massive impact on the game and gave them a huge boost.

"I don't know what was going through the referee's mind and I don't know where a player needs to be on the pitch, with no defenders near him and an open goal, for it to be classed as a clear-cut chance. It's beyond me. It cost us the match.

"I thought, 'I'm going to take it round James and if he doesn't catch me, I'm going to roll it into an empty net'.

"I was 18 yards out and it was a certainty that I was going to put it into the back of net.

"But he brought me down, I'm on the floor and I'm thinking, 'he's going to be having an early bath, they're down to 10 men'.

"I'm sure when David James saw that yellow card, he will have thought he'd got away with murder.

"Anyone in the stadium could see it was a red card. The referee is the only one who can explain what he's seen."

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