Nottingham Forest star thanks Jon Moss after play-off final penalty controversy

Nottingham Forest defender Steve Cook made a point of thanking Jon Moss and VAR after his side beat Huddersfield Town in the Championship play-off final.

Forest won 1-0 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon to return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years. Levi Colwill’s own goal from James Garner’s cross was enough for Steve Cooper’s side to complete a remarkable campaign in style and bank a mammoth £170million .

Their victory was far from straightforward, however, with Huddersfield seeing two penalty appeals waved away by Moss, who was officiating his final match before retirement. Moss is an experienced official, but his decision-making – and the lack of intervention by VAR – was extremely controversial in the match.

Town’s Harry Toffolo appeared to be fouled in the box by Forest’s Jack Colback, but Moss immediately waved away appeals and booked Toffolo for simulation. VAR, which was being used for the first time in the play-off final, was consulted but upheld the decision, despite slow-motion replays appearing to suggest Colback did make contact with Toffolo.

The Yorkshire side had another protest dismissed when Lewis O’Brien went down in the area under a challenge from Max Lowe. Huddersfield did not manage a shot on target at Wembley, but left feeling aggrieved due to Moss’ officiating. Not that Forest minded.

After celebrating their promotion with a parade on Monday, veteran defender Cook addressed supporters in Nottingham city centre with a microphone in hand. “You never know in football, you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “We’ll thank Jon Moss today, what a f****** guy! We love VAR, we love ya. Up the Tricky Trees!”

Huddersfield manager Carlos Corberan refused to criticise Moss or VAR in his post-match interview. “I didn’t watch them yet but the players that received these fouls were thinking that if they hadn’t received the foul they would have finished the opportunity to attack,” he said.

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Jon Moss didn't want to know with either incident

Jon Moss waved away two Huddersfield penalty claims
Getty Images)

“But you have the VAR and the referee, and if they understand there is no foul, I can’t say anything. The only thing I can do is to accept it. I understand that with only one referee it is complicated but when you have the support of the VAR the possibility to make fair decisions increases, so if they understand it was not a penalty it’s because maybe they were not penalties.”

Corberan added: “I have been through the season without VAR and I don’t understand well what the process is. I don’t know if the referee needs to ask to review, I don’t know if the VAR can do something when they see, I don’t know if they can review action when the referee doesn’t ask.

“But if you have VAR and the referee and they understand that there was no penalty, I only can accept it was not a penalty.”

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