Former ref Graham Poll reckons Keith Stroud could take months to recover from his high-profile gaffe in Newcastle’s win over Burton Albion on Wednesday night.
Stroud has been dropped from refereeing duties this weekend after he wrongly awarded Burton a free-kick when Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle encroached into the area before teammate Matt Ritchie’s successfully-taken penalty.
The correct decision would have been for the 47-year-old official to instruct Ritchie to re-take the spot-kick.
Ritchie did eventually go on to find the net again in a 1-0 victory for the Magpies but, had Rafa Benitez’s side not won, both teams could have been ordered to replay the match.
Poll, who was sent home from the 2006 World Cup for brandishing three yellow cards to one player in the same game, sympathises with Stroud.
Rafa Benitez reacts to Matt Ritchie disallowed penalty
“Wednesday night, sitting in the referees’ dressing room at St James’ Park, he will have been overwhelmed by sadness, incredulous that he could have made such an error,” Poll wrote in a Daily Mail column.
The retired ref added: “I continue to be derided for my moment of madness and Stroud will have to take the stick for his. It will take him weeks, or even months, to come to terms with the fact that he could make such an error.
“However, he will know who his friends are as they support and encourage him and I wish him well. I know exactly how he feels.”