Last weekend, we saw a match abandoned with seven minutes remaining due to an injury sustained by the referee. This sparked a debate between the two clubs as to why the game wasn’t completed.
In case you’re unaware, the match in question was Colwyn Bay v Altrincham in the FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round. With the away side leading 2-0 after 83 minutes, referee Mark Ackerman pulled up with a calf strain and was unable to continue. As there was no fourth official present, the hunt began for a suitable alternative to step in and officiate so the game could be completed.
An announcement was put out over the stadium tannoy appealing for a qualified official to volunteer. A fan did come forward to volunteer. The individual was a Grade 5 referee, meaning he could run the line and the game could be seen to its conclusion. However, Colwyn Bay manager Frank Sinclair was concerned that the fan had consumed alcohol, and so refused the proposal. Altrincham then offered to have their coach, Ian Senior, run the line. Again, this was refused by Colwyn Bay, who said that Senior was not qualified and so could not be trusted to get the decisions right. It has today been announced that the game will now be replayed tomorrow night (Tuesday November 19th), which in my opinion is the correct decision.
Altrincham said the game should have been awarded to them as they were winning, and well on top of the match. However, as competition rules clearly state:
“When a first match has been postponed, or is abandoned before the completion of 90 minutes and neither club being at fault, it shall be played on the same ground on or before the following Thursday.
Matches abandoned through the fault of the clubs shall be dealt with by the National Game Board.”
I’ve highlighted the key phrase. Neither club was at fault for the referee getting injured, therefore the game had to be replayed. End of.
As for the proposed solutions to complete the original game, Sinclair was well within his rights to refuse. He has been accused by representatives from Alty that he was determined that the match would be abandoned because his side were losing. And while I don’t deny he used the rules to his advantage, I certainly don’t blame him.
Bottom line: if the volunteer who steps forward is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, then that person cannot officiate in any capacity. Similarly, an unqualified person should not be officiating either, especially when they are employed by one of the clubs taking part.
And consider this: people have cast Frank Sinclair as the bad guy because he pushed for the game his team was losing to be abandoned. But yet nobody seems to have pointed out that Alty were only desperate for the game to be completed because they were winning. If the game had been level, I doubt there would have been any controversy. And if the scoreline was the other way round, I can assure you the roles would have been also!
As stated, the game will now be replayed, and the real losers in this whole mess are the fans, as always. The travelling fans had a 130 mile round trip, and in the end it was a wasted one. For those brave souls who will make the trip again on Tuesday, at least they will only have to pay half price for their admission.
I am just awaiting the fallout should Colwyn Bay win…
Stephen Prosser previews this New Year’s Day encounter at Llanelian Road, as Jon Newby’s side look to address a four game losing run. Read the rest of this entry
Richard Offiong has made claims on twitter that he was racially abused by Lee McEvilly in the Blyth Spartans Vs Colwyn Bay game.
Offiong alleges that McEvilly said to him “where’s your bunch of bananas, show me your passport” and has gone on to claim that team mates of his heard the abuse and that in the past he has reported abuse but nothing has being done about the matter.
My personal view of this is that its sad that in such a multicultural world that racism is something that still goes on and if McEvilly is found guilty of saying these things then he should be banned from the game for life.
Regarding Offiong’s claims that he has reported matters in the same vein of this topic in the past and nothing has happened is not only worrying if true but not good enough either as we rely on the FA to make football a fun and safe enviroment where people should be judged on how they play football and not their race.
The draw for the Third Qualifying Round of this season’s FA Trophy has now been made. This is the round where clubs from the Conference North and South enter proceedings, and I thought I would pick out some highlights.
Firstly, my club, Hampton & Richmond Borough, have been drawn at home against Canvey Island, who currently sit tenth in the Ryman Premier League. It’s a good draw for The Beavers, a home tie and a good chance of progressing into the first round proper, where the Conference Premier clubs await.
Elsewhere, and Under The League’s James Griffiths still has an interest in the competition. His beloved Matlock Town will have a plum home tie with Hyde, who are flying high in the Conference North. Matlock do, however, have the small matter of a home replay with divisional rivals Hednesford Town to contest first, after the first match ended goalless.
FC United Of Manchester could set up a local derby with Altrincham, if they can overcome Durham in a replay. Redbridge FC will face East Thurrock United in an Essex derby, and there could be another one if AFC Hornchurch can get past Harrow Borough in a replay. The winners will travel to Thurrock FC, who sit bottom of the Conference South table.
Meanwhile, the draw has thrown up a “top v bottom” clash between Conference North leaders Stalybridge Celtic and Blyth Spartans, who sit bottom at the time of the draw. Spartans will be at home for the match though, which could have an impact on the result. Conference South leaders Woking, meanwhile, face a very tricky looking trip to Chelmsford City, who are chasing a playoff place in the same division.
Gosport Borough have been garnering a lot of attention lately, due to the fact that they boast Steve Claridge in their ranks, and they will face a very tough trip to Conference South side Dorchester Town in the next round. They will need every ounce of Claridge’s vast experience to get through the tie. FC Halifax Town, who face Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup in their biggest ever game this weekend, have an away day against fellow Conference North side Colwyn Bay in the Trophy.
The games will be played the weekend of November 26th, and the full draw can be found here
With a programme curtailed by the FA Cup, there were just five games played in the Conference North. These games did entertain though, with fourteen goals shared between the clubs, and no goalless draws.
Leaders Stalybridge maintained their three point lead at the top of the division with a 2-0 win over Worcester City at Bower Fold. The visitors themselves are currently chasing a playoff place, but two goals from striker Connor Jennings sealed the points for the home side. The young striker now has thirteen goals in the league this season. Second placed side Hyde also won, with a convincing win at Harrogate Town. The result was made all the more striking as all three goals came from defenders. Andrew Pearson, Danny Hall and Gianluca Havern netted the goals that keep up the pressure on the leaders.
Boston United missed the chance to rise into the playoff places as they could only manage a 2-2 draw with Colwyn Bay. Jason Lee put the hosts in front, but it was the visitors who went in ahead at halftime. Two goals from Lee McEvilly in stoppage time at the end of the first period turned the score on it’s head. In fact, it wasn’t until the eighth minute of added time at the end of the game before a thunderous thirty yard effort from Ben Milnes meant the spoils were shared.
In the other two games, Histon recorded a much needed win, beating Workington 2-0 thanks to second half goals from Daniel Sparkes and Dan Holman. The result saw Workington drop to second bottom, as Eastwood Town got themselves a fine 2-1 atVauxhall Motors thanks to goals from Jake Sheridan and Jarrod Westcarr. The home side had led through a McGivern penalty, but that lead lasted just two minutes.
There is another game on Halloween night, as Hinckley United host Solihull Moors. Both sides find themselves in a scary position in the league, and will be hoping to find the ghouls, sorry goals, to climb the table.