The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Alex Smith

MARTIN Allen blasted ref­eree Dar­ren Eng­land af­ter he awarded a con­tro­ver­sial goal and sent off goal­keeper Jamie Stephens in Bar­net’s de­feat at Portsmouth.

Pom­pey striker Conor Chap­lin, 18, weighed in with a classy dou­ble, af­ter Andy Yi­adom had given the visi­tors a shock lead.

But Allen hit boiling point in a bad tem­pered game when ref Eng­land al­lowed Adam McGurk’s early sec­ond-half goal to stand af­ter the lines­man waved his flag for off­side.

At­tacker Kyle Ben­nett had wan­dered into an off­side po­si­tion but let the ball roll through to for­mer Bur­ton striker McGurk who fin­ished well.

Allen’s mood was wors­ened when Eng­land in­ex­pli­ca­bly sent off Stephens for a sec­ond yel­low card – the first for time­wast­ing in the first half, the sec­ond for a foul on Ben­nett.

The for­mer Pom­pey player raged: “The ref hasn’t done a good job from the first minute.

“There was a tackle on our full­back, two-footed, that took him out and it wasn’t even a yel­low card, it was pos­si­bly a red.

“But here you have 16,000 peo­ple and you have to be a strong ref­eree to cope and deal with this, you have to be fair.

“Lit­tle Bar­net com­ing here, you’ve got to have a proper ref­eree who can deal with this.

“It’s in­tim­i­dat­ing and im­pos­ing and you have to have a man in the mid­dle who can make his own de­ci­sions, that don’t just fit this sta­dium and the crowd.

“My play­ers gave ev­ery­thing, I’m very proud of them. I’m dis­ap­pointed not to have got any­thing out of it and even in the 91st minute we had a chance to take it to 2-2.”

Bar­net took the lead against the run of play, when Yi­adom side­footed into the bot­tom cor­ner on 25 min­utes, af­ter pa­tient build-up from the im­pres­sive Mauro Vil­hete.

Chap­lin should have grabbed his first of the af­ter­noon in the 31st minute but blazed over from in­side the box af­ter Chris­tian Burgess had his header cleared off the line. But the home-grown hero net­ted just six min­utes later when he smashed across the face of goal.

He scored a sec­ond in in­jury time – af­ter McGurk had nabbed his con­tro­ver­sial 54th-minute goal and Stephens had been re­placed be­tween the sticks by 17-year-old debu­tant Kai McKen­zie-Lyle – to add gloss to the re­sult, which cata- pults Portsmouth into the top three.

Pom­pey are still un­beaten in the league this sea­son but as­sis­tant man­ager Leam Richard­son heaped the praise on his teenage won­der.

He said: “We’ve got a name al­ready that we’re some un­beat­able team in League Two, which I don’t know where it’s come from.

“It’s re­spect to the play­ers and you see Martin Allen go away from his be­liefs here, to take a front­man off and add in mid­field.

“Conor’s Conor. I’ve only been here a short while and you can al­ready see the lad loves football and scor­ing goals. He’s qual­ity and has a good work ethic.”



IN Portsm

outh KEY MO­MENTS: Adam McGurk scores Portsmouth’s con­tro­ver­sial sec­ond goal and, inset, ref­eree Dar­ren Eng­land sends off stunned Bar­net keeper Jamie Stephens

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