How Ipswich loanee’s controversial Portsmouth sending off left former Liverpool & West Ham striker and Fratton favourite with differing opinions

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Neil Mellor and Guy Whittingham gave differing opinions on Joe Pigott’s red card against Accrington.

It came after the 29-year-old was dismissed for a challenge on Toby Savin in Pompey’s 3-1 victory at the Accy on Tuesday evening.

However, referee David Rock deemed the striker’s lunge on the substitute goalkeeper to be a late and dangerous one.

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This meant Pigott was given the first marching orders of his career, leaving John Mousinho’s side with 10 men for the remaining 24 minutes of the contest at the Crown Ground.

The head coach has revealed he will be looking to appeal the red card - which unsuccessful - would see him suspended for Pompey’s next three games against Bristol Rovers, Port Vale and Forest Green.

It’s a devastating blow for the front man, who had registered consecutive starts for the first time under the new boss.

And former Liverpool striker Mellor believes Rock’s decision to dismiss Pigott was the wrong one during his update on Sky Sports’ Soccer Special.

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He said: ‘Joe Morrell plays the ball in to Joe Pigott, who scored the opening goal of the game. His touch is heavy so it invites the goalkeeper to make the challenge.

Joe Pigott was given his marching orders on 66 minutes.Joe Pigott was given his marching orders on 66 minutes.
Joe Pigott was given his marching orders on 66 minutes.

‘I think as an ex-centre-forward, you’re entitled to make that challenge. I haven’t seen a replay but I think a centre-forward should be allowed to go for that.

‘Obviously, all the Accrington players and fans are saying get him sent off because they’re down to 10 men and the referee truly obliged.

‘I haven't seen a replay but I thought that was a little bit harsh and that the centre-forward was entitled to go for that one. The referee didn’t and now it's 10 v 10.’

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However, Whittingham disagreed with Mellor’s view when he gave his thoughts during his in-game analysis on BBC Radio Solent.

The challenge which saw Joe Pigott dismissed against Accrington.The challenge which saw Joe Pigott dismissed against Accrington.
The challenge which saw Joe Pigott dismissed against Accrington.

The Fratton favourite insisted Pigott’s challenge left the official with no other option but to show him a red card.

He said: ‘The thing is he gives him the opportunity.

‘He’s actually contacted the ball first, just, but he’s out of control and that’s the law of the game. He’s jumped in with both feet off the floor but it’s not two footed.

‘I thought Raggett’s challenge on Saturday, (against Sheffield Wednesday) when I was playing would’ve been a great challenge but you can’t do that these days, that's the law.’