Keith Hackett shares verdict on Craig Dawson & West Ham flashpoint v Newcastle - Exclusive

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive West Ham United columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium.

Keith Hackett believes Kevin Friend made the right decision to punish Craig Dawson’s ‘reckless’ challenge against Newcastle.

The 30-year old was sent off for a second yellow card in the first half against the Magpies, following a heavy challenge on Joelinton in the build-up to Issa Diop’s own goal.

That meant the Hammers were forced to play with ten men for an hour, unfortunately failing to hold off the advances of Steve Bruce’s side.

Talking exclusively to West Ham Zone, former referee Hackett praised Friend’s refereeing decision-making in allowing Newcastle the advantage while also sending off Dawson.

Hackett said: “What Dawson has done is he’s kicked the ball ahead of himself, lost control, and he’s recklessly challenged the goalkeeper.

“Yellow card, no question, a yellow card. But the referee shows some courage here because playing advantage on the yellow card is a very dangerous situation, but in fairness to Kevin Friend, he applied an advantage and the outcome was a goal.

“It was a brilliant piece of refereeing, then to go back, find where Dawson was on the pitch and caution.”This for me was a justifiable second yellow card, given the circumstance of where and when the foul and how the foul took place. It was reckless.”

Losing to Newcastle was a minor speed bump in the Hammers’ pursuit of Champions League football, however, we’re still very much in the race.

Exactly what will happen next season is now unclear following the announcement of the European Super League, but for the time being the players must focus on securing as high a Premier League finish as possible.

We next face Chelsea this weekend and we’ll need to regain some momentum against Thomas Tuchel’s side.

In other West Ham United news, Jim White & Simon Jordan have clashed over West Ham after Spurs sack Mourinho