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FA Cup shocker as five see red
3:44pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in Sport
BRIDGWATER Town manager Richard Fey described Saturday’s FA Cup tie between his side and Taunton Town as a ‘wasted afternoon’ after FIVE players were sent off during an ill-tempered 1-1 draw at Wordsworth Drive.
Fey was angry at the referee’s performance after Brad Middleton and Aaron Wilson both saw red for what he described as ‘innocuous’ challenges, in a game that will regrettably be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
He said: “The referee ruined it in my opinion – he lost control of the game. I’m disappointed because it completely ruined the game.
“Brad’s red card was so harsh; he’s just jumped out of the way of one of their players and ended up landing on him, it wasn’t a stamp.
“The most disappointing thing for me is that there were 500 people at the game, all of whom had paid £8 to be there and the football wasn’t given a chance to get going.
“Local derbies are always going to be heated games, you’ve got to expect that, but only one red card was deserved today and that was one of theirs. I’m so frustrated.”
An early scuffle set the tone for the afternoon after an ill-timed lunge by Taunton’s Josh Wadham, before Middleton was shown a straight red-card for an alleged stamp in the penalty area.
Nat Pepperell fired Taunton in front from the resulting spot-kick . . . but the controversy had only just begun.
Taunton were soon down to nine men as Shane Kingston was dismissed for an adjudged elbow during an aerial challenge and Rodney Marsh suffered the same fate for disputing the decision.
Bridgwater equalised on 64 minutes as Aaron Wilson expertly volleyed in from the edge of the penalty area but it was to be one of his last actions of the afternoon as he became the fourth player of the afternoon to see red, this time for a second-bookable offence.
The epitaph to an afternoon where there were no winners – literally and metaphorically – was written in stoppage time when Pepperell was shown a straight red card for allegedly flattening Kris Miller in an off-the-ball coming together.
Taunton boss Leigh Robinson also expressed his frustration at the afternoon’s proceedings.
He said: “I feel slightly sorry for the paying spectators today; what should have been a good spectacle was ruined by his [the referee’s] decisions.
“I cannot comment on the first Bridgwater red card as I was miles away from it but Shane’s red was awful.
“To send Rodney off in the aftermath is correct if he has sworn at him but, then again, players did that all day so he should then send off anyone who swears at officials.
“I think with nine versus ten for 30 minutes of the second half we did really well to get a replay, as there were spaces all over the place and it was understandably difficult to get out of our half during this period, so all credit to the players.”
The two sides meet again tonight (Tuesday) at Fairfax Park (7.45pm ko) for the tie’s replay, in what will hopefully be much more of a footballing spectacle.
Taunton – Kyle Moore, Jamie Short, Lewis Tasker, Owen Irish, Jamie Price (captain), Shane Kingston, Josh Wadham (Steve Murray 45) (Craig Herrod 86), Rob Norrish, Chris Young, Rodney Marsh, Nat Pepperell. Unused sub: Simon Ingram.
Bridgwater – Chris Wright, Phil Veal (Kris Miller 57), Alex Faux, Bradley Middleton (captain), Chris McGrath, James Pilling (Scott Thomas 23), Jon Vance (Graham Mercieca 76), Dean Griffiths, Craig Loxton, Joe Bushin, Aaron Wilson. Unused subs: Daine O'Connor, Geraint Bater, Sam Alexander.
Referee: Ben Cobb (Poole). Assistants: Lee Rutter (Poole), Alex Rush-Fear (Poole) Match sponsor: Carlsberg Matchball sponsor: Tim & Tony Rutland, Mark Clayson, Alan Fletcher and Jason Tanton