Aston Villa defender Matty Cash was “fortunate” to not pick up a yellow card when he gave away a penalty against Tottenham on Sunday, according to Keith Hackett.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former FIFA and Premier League referee suggested Mike Dean deemed the challenge as “careless” rather than “reckless”.
Cash caught Harry Kane with a trailing leg in the 68th minute and Kane converted the resulting spot-kick as Spurs ran out 2-0 winners.
Just six minutes after the penalty, Cash picked up a caution for a foul on Lucas Moura.
If the 23-year-old had been booked for the penalty incident, his challenge on Moura could have seen Mike Dean give him his marching orders and a one-game ban.
“I think he was fortunate,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“I do worry sometimes, I don’t like the proliferation of red cards but on occasion referees do seem in certain areas they’re not going to give yellow cards for penalty kicks.
“You say to yourself ‘hold on a minute, is that a reckless challenge?’ I think he judged it as a careless challenge and that’s why he didn’t give it as a yellow card.
“In the game of football, you have to be consistent as a referee.
“When I coach referees, I often say, slightly contrary to the law, if you give a second yellow I want it to be more like an orange card, in truth.”
Speaking after the game Dean Smith told BirminghamLive: “The second goal kills the game. It’s a poor decision from Matt Cash.”
His side have won just one of their last seven games in the absence of their talismanic captain Jack Grealish.