“The referee was completely out of his depth,” fumes Barum boss Dave
BARNSTAPLE joint-manager Dave Griffiths described the officiating in Saturday’s controversial 4-3 defeat to relegation rivals Fleet Town as the worst he has seen.
Barum – who host AFC Totton at the weekend – played for more than 70 minutes of the game with ten men after defender Mike Humphreys was sent off following two bookings.
Griffiths felt the referee’s decision to send Humphreys off was wrong as he didn’t appear to make any contact with the player, but he picked up a second yellow card.
Barnstaple found themselves 3-1 down at half-time in what Griffiths said was their poorest first half performance of the season, before they fought back gallantly after the break.
But with full-time approaching, and Barnstaple chasing an equaliser, the game descended into chaos.
Co-manager Kevin Darch was sent to the stands along with the Fleet physio following a fracas.
That was after Barum rightback Ross Jones appeared to be hit by a Fleet coach, only to then be shown a yellow card – much to the astonishment of Griffiths and his players.
“The officials, all three of them, were the worst I think I’ve ever seen,” Griffiths said:
“The referee was completely out of his depth, and had no idea how to control the game.
“The older assistant should maybe have helped him out but it was a total shambles to be honest. One of their coaches were sent off, Kevin was sent to the stands, their physio was also sent off – it was just absolute mayhem.
“I spoke to the referee’s assessor after the game and he said the referee was close to tears. He just couldn’t handle the game.
“Our right back [Ross Jones] was hit by one of their coaches near the end, while he was trying to get on with the game and he ended up getting booked. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
“It was absolutely gutting. In the first half we deserved to be 3-1 down. We were awful,” he continued.
“We were down to ten men after 16 minutes following two yellows. The second one was never a booking because he never touched him, their player dived. “
The defeat leaves Barnstaple rooted to the bottom of the EvoStik Southern League table after they were leapfrogged by Fleet, who lost 2-1 at home to Winchester City on Tuesday night.
On Saturday Griffiths’ men will be looking to bounce right back when they host AFC Totton. They will have to make do without Jack Langford due to work commitments, while Humphreys serves a onematch ban following his red card at the weekend against Fleet.
Lewis Slough, the grandson of former Fulham and Luton Town star Alan Slough, made his debut for Barnstaple at the weekend.
However, he will miss this Saturday’s game as he is taking part in England trials.
Barnstaple manager Dave Griffiths was not impressed with the level of officiating