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Swifty

Ash Trees 3 Blues 4

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A baffling and frustrating night.

 

Fleet took the lead in the 18th minute after referee Atkins blew his whistle with the ball in our box. Fleet captain Ben White then put the ball in the net with players from both sides having stopped in their tracks, and Atkins gave a goal. How can you give a goal when you’ve already blown to stop play? Astonishing. Once of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen.

 

Before then we’d looked okay, but the ‘goal’ knocked the stuffing out of us until the break. One of our lads (Fish?) looped a header from a cross into our top corner in the 38th minute, and then Fleet were given another goal just before half time when it looked like we might have cleared the shot by Pat Cox on or in front of the line.

 

Bitz gave us some hope when half time sub Samad teed him up beautifully in the 61st, but Cox scored a well taken goal for 1-4 ten minutes later. We’d upped the ante after the break, and Kam got the goal his performance merited in the 85th minute. Samad’s 95th minute goal, which he also deserved, came just too late.

 

Before the first goal, Fleet had produced very little. They grew in confidence and became more menacing as the game wore on but had to resort to some time wasting and bus parking to disrupt us. In truth, though, we weren’t consistent for the whole match. Too many back heels and back flicks without looking where the intended player was for starters. If we’d been able to play both halves like the second half we wouldn’t have lost.  The only real plus points were our character when trying to salvage a point and the return of Russ and, especially, Lewis Taylor. Welcome back.

 

The ref was appalling, and the lino on the Tangerine Terrace side failed to give decisions for obvious fouls all evening - a real waste of the club’s money. It should be pointed out, to even things up, that the officials failed to send off one of our subs for an horrendous tackle near the end. No-one near me could understand why a red card wasn’t shown.

 

Hoping for a bounce back from our lads, plus some officials who actually know the laws and apply them properly, on Saturday.

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It is a real shame that the main talking point was an astonishingly bad refereeing decision. To be fair to the ref he did admit his error at half time and then again after the game.

 

However after going 1 down, there was plenty of time to win the match and so it was disappointing that we lost our way. We played too many long balls, the play became too stretched; where was the quick short passing game that was so effective on Saturday?

 

Having said that we are a very good side, once we get a settled defence and stop conceding silly goals, we will be fine and we can  expect a good season in this league.

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That begs the question - at which stage during the first half or half time interval did the penny drop and the ref realise he'd made a mistake? Certainly not when he gave the goal.

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