City boss fumes at refereeing decisions
Lancaster City boss Mark Fell slammed the referee after his side suffered their first defeat of the new season on Tuesday night.
The Dolly Blues were beaten 3-2 at Morpeth Town despite leading with 89 minutes on the clock.
However, the home side equalised through Liam Henderson and then took all the points when they were awarded a penalty in controversial fashion after a foul by Glen Steel.
Joseph Walton stepped forward to convert from the spot – the second time he had scored from 12 yards during the match after earlier equalising in the 34th minute.
City had gone ahead through David Norris in the ninth minute and looked to have won it when Daniel Lowson put through his own goal six minutes from time.
The game hinged on a number of big decisions with Fell upset that his side had not been awarded a spot-kick of their own in the first half for a clear handball when they were leading 1-0.
He labelled the award of the penalty which turned out to be the winner as one of the worst refereeing decisions he has ever seen – and also felt Henderson’s goal had a suspicion offside.
It was a massive frustration for Fell as he felt his team deserved to win the game against a side he believes are one of the favourites to win the NPL Premier Division. “I don’t really know what to say,” Fell said.
“I have witnessed the two worst refereeing decision that I have ever seen.
“ Performance video analysis is a wonderful thing and it helps a lot but when you have a three hour journey back from the North East, it just confirms what you have seen with your own eyes – and it makes it worse.
“The game has swung on two decisions. There is a handball in the first half.
“The ball comes over, it hits the lad’s wrist after he moves his arm towards the ball and then it bounces up and hits him on the elbow.
“Brad Carsley is stood right behind him and if it doesn’t hit the lad’s arm inside the box, Brad’s through one-on-one.
“The referee has said it’s hit his thigh.
“We were 1-0 up at the time and that potentially would have made it 2-0.
“The first penalty given against Paul Dawson was soft, but hand-on-heart Paul was the wrong side of his man and seven out of 10 refs would have given it.
“After that we conceded a little bit of ground, but we still looked the more organised and we scored the goal which should have won us the game.
“We deserved to win because it was a classic away performance against a very good side.
“The last few minutes though were remarkable. The first one is offside, but the penalty decision in the 92nd minute, I have seen it from four different angles, it’s a big challenge from Glen, but he gets to the ball first.
“The thing which willrankle with me for a long time as well is it’s outside of the box – the first contact is outside of the box.
“The players just didn’t deserve it. We’ve travelled to the North East on a Tuesday night and executed the plan.
“If we had come away with a point, we would have been really sick, but to come away with nothing is unbelievable.”
Despite the result, Fell believes his men should head to Basford United this weekend in high spirits due to their performance, which followed an excellent opening day 2-1 win over Stafford Rangers at Giant Axe.
“The first game of the season is always strange because you don’t know where you are, you don’t know what you’re soming up against.
“The first half we were very, very good.
“I went down to watch Basford on Monday against Matlock and I am expecting it be a diffcult game even though they lost against Matlock, it wasn’t a fair reflection of the game.
Fell may look to change his team with Simon Wills, Luke Thompson and Jason Walker champing at the bit.