Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey admits he can see why Said Benrahma’s goal against Nottingham Forest was ruled out on Sunday.

The Algeria international thought he had put West Ham in the lead when referee Rob Jones was asked to consult the pitchside monitor to view an alternation between Michail Antonio and Forest defender Orel Mangala.

The replays showed Antonio making a run past Declan Rice, who was in possession, to try open up a through-ball opportunity, but Mangala stepped in front of the forward at the last minute, causing the Forest defender to go flying backwards.

Seconds later, Rice plays in Benrahma, who comfortably slotted past Dean Henderson.

But Rob Jones deemed Antonio to have fouled Mangala, despite video evidence suggesting otherwise and ruled the goal out.

However, speaking exclusively to the We Are West Ham Podcast on Monday, Halsey admits that while he is unconvinced it was a clear and obvious error, which is what VAR is there to correct, it can see why the goal was disallowed once it was checked by the referee.

He said: “When I first saw it, it looked like they both just collided and ran into each other.

“Remember we’ve been told there’s a higher threshold of contact this season, so I was surprised when VAR got involved because I didn’t think it was a clear and obvious error.

“But when you look at it again you think, well, yeah you can perhaps understand why it was given.

“I think it’s one of those decisions where you’d be happy if it goes for you and very unhappy if it goes against you.

“But was it a clear and obvious error for VAR to get involved? I think that’s a subjective incident, so I’m perhaps no so sure that they should’ve got involved.

“But once they did, you can understand how they’ve come to that outcome.”

It cannot be denied that Antonio’s reaction was somewhat over the top when the collision occurred, when he clearly pushed Mangala out of the way, We Are West Ham Podcast host James Jones later went on to content claims that the Hammers striker could do anything about the collision and questioned whether Mangala can be seen to be involved in the build-up to the goal at all.

“The replays clearly show the defender stepping in front of Antonio, just ever so slightly,” Jones said.

“I felt like, in that situation, Antonio is punished for being the stronger of the two defenders. He’s running fast, the guy gets in his way and naturally, he puts his arms up, initially to protect himself, but then obviously he pushes him out of the way.

“I agree he made a meal of it but if the defender doesn’t step into his way, that doesn’t happen. The defender is at fault for causing the altercation. Does Antonio get out of the way? How does he step out of the way when he’s running at full pace?

“One thing I do question, though, is that the nearest player to Declan Rice at the time is Mangala but it’s very obvious he has no intention of trying to track Rice down, proven by the fact he’s stepped in front of Antonio.

“If he’s trying to close Declan Rice down and then Antonio wipes him out, fair enough. But he’s not, he’s holding off Declan Rice, Antonio runs past Declan Rice and then the defender steps in front of Antonio.

“Therefore, he might be the closest player to Declan Rice but he’s got no intention of playing Declan Rice. For me, that wipes that part of the argument out.”

Either way, this was yet another example of the bad side of VAR, where it often ads far more subjectivity to events where it is supposed to remove subjectivity.

In this situation, it’s clear Rob Jones saw it very differently from many other West Ham fans. The fact an ex-Premier League referee like Halsey is even questioning if it should’ve gone to VAR in the first place raises obvious questions over when the correct time is to use VAR?

It’s there to assess incidents that are deemed to be clear and obvious errors, such as the Scott McKenna handball in the second-half of the same game. This, though, is so subjective it is not a clear and obvious error.

In the end, West Ham lost the game 1-0, which has frustrated the fans even more, especially considering West Ham dominated large parts of the game on Sunday and were the better side on the day.