Football

Allardyce fumes at Johnson's 'dive'

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce accused Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson of diving for a penalty after the two teams played out a frustrating 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Johnson toppled under the challenge of James Tomkins in the 22nd minute and, despite minimal contact, referee Phil Dowd had no hesitation in awarding a spot-kick from which Jordi Gomez struck the opener.

Allardyce said: "It's a dive. I have to say, Johnno knew he was going nowhere, he knew it was going out of play, so (he thought) I'll have a little fall and make the referee make a decision, and it went in his favour.

"I've seen it from four angles on the laptop and the assistant referee has made the wrong decision in my opinion. It wasn't the referee's decision because he couldn't see from where he was because (his view) was obscured by three players."

But Allardyce was equally convinced that Dowd got it right when he waved away a strong spot-kick appeal in the second half after Hammers defender Winston Reid plainly handled a Santiago Vergini cross in the box.

Allardyce added: "Handball has to be intentional and I don't think it was intentional at all. Everybody thinks that when it hits somebody's hand today it has to be a penalty, but it's not."

Allardyce's rather predictable reaction to the two most significant talking points of an otherwise forgettable encounter were mocked by Sunderland boss Gus Poyet.

Poyet agreed with Allardyce that the penalty award might have been harsh but asked: "Have his (Allardyce's) players never dived? The second one was a definite penalty and a manager can be more honest sometimes. Sometimes you get it and sometimes it is against you.

"I thought it (the penalty) was a bit harsh. I didn't think it was a penalty, but I don't think he dived. The defender was in front of him and he was stronger and bigger and, when the referee gives the penalty, you are not going to say 'no' to it." - Wire Services.