Derby day referee Lee Mason upsets Nottingham Forest with late penalty decisions

CARDIFF, WALES - JANUARY 12:  Referee Lee Mason changes his mind over awarding Huddersfield a penalty as the Huddersfield players Jason Puncheon and Elias Kachunga react to the news during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town at Cardiff City Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - JANUARY 12: Referee Lee Mason changes his mind over awarding Huddersfield a penalty as the Huddersfield players Jason Puncheon and Elias Kachunga react to the news during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town at Cardiff City Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Premier League referee Lee Mason won few friends among the Nottingham Forest fans who travelled to last night’s 2-2 draw at West Brom with two costly, wrong penalty decisions in quick succession at the end.

Bolton whistler Mason, part of the elite Select Group Referees since 2006, will be in charge for Saturday’s massive local derby between Notts County and Mansfield Town at Meadow Lane.

And both clubs will be hoping for better than last night when he awarded the Baggies an 89th minute penalty when Dwight Gayle went down spectacularly in the box, seemingly anticipating a contact that never came.

That saw Albion level the game, having twice been behind.

But Forest should have then been awarded a stoppage time spot kick of their own as Joe Lolley’s shirt was pulled by Keiran Gibbs in the box.

It was a clear foul for all to see, but as Lolley did not go down, Mr Mason continued play.

Albion were also angry he did not spot a high boot in a challenge from Lewis Grabban earlier in the game.

Mason courted penalty controversy last month when he awarded one to Huddersfield Town at Cardiff only to change his mind after protests from the home players and a short consultation with his assistant.

So far this season in 22 games the 47-year-old has dished out 63 yellow cards and two red cards, including Manchester United’s Eric Baillie at Old Trafford against Bournemouth in December.