The referee scratching his head at the end of the game, he wasn’t the only one.
On a cold but sunny day at satellite ground Albert Road the 5th team found themselves in AFA cup action against Old Parmiterians. Buoyed from last weeks 6 nil win the team were in confident mood as we tried to overcome the boggy ground and get warmed up. Marshall came in for Shahidi in the sticks, Kanybekov to centre back alongside on the pitch skipper Jeater, Guenzi and Kralik at left and right back respectively. We were able to name the same midfield of McGoohan, Donnelly, Cumberbatch and Sulemanji from left to right. Chvojka came back into the attack alongside McGahey. D. Howarth, McGloglan and Taylor making up the bench.
From the off we looked slightly subdued and second best. We’ve done this several times this season and its something we need to address. Old Parms were the opposite, strong but fair in the tackle they were winning everything and breaking up our play with ease. The only saving grace being that for their better play they hadn’t troubled Mr Marshall too much. A bit later though the game started getting a bit more frayed as the referees constant inability to award a throw in for the correct team began to irk both teams and in particular our Slovak colleague – I think I’ve learnt some new swear words.
A throw in – but to which side?
If the occasional throw in going the wrong way was frustrating the next decision was just bizarre. Having spotted a ‘push’ from Cumberbatch on an Old Parms attacker a few yards from goal the referee awarded them a free kick. Both teams vocal in thier demonstrations as we argued that there was no push whilst the Old Parms players quickly talked the referee through the rules of the game, a free kick in the box is called a penalty. Duly he did what all good referees do and realised his error, he’d awarded a free kick for nothing therefore it must be a penalty. Old Parms converted.
Marshall claims the ball from an Old Parms corner.
Old Parms continued to dominate the first half. Cumberbatch and Donnelly struggling against a combination of combatative midfield and the dire pitch at Albert Road to get us going forward. This hadn’t stopped Kanybekov and Kralik from making kamikaze runs up the pitch. On one of the runs from right back Kralik took the ball all the way to the edge of the box and from an acute angle fired in. Admitting later it was a cross. We hadn’t really deserved it but we were level and it took a superb save from Marshall to keep it that way when an Old Parms attacker tested him just before half time.
After half time Kanybekov was replaced for McGloglan and D. Howarth came on for McGahey. Try as we might we didn’t really get our game going and the constant stream of appalling decisions from the referee became tiresome, a frustrated Mr Gibbs on the sidelines also added his thoughts to the abject performance – I think I’ve learnt some more swear words.
Kralik, McGloglan and Chvojka enquire about a decision – Old Parms converted the free kick.
The referee then decided that Old Parms deserved another free kick on the edge of our box, I was at first relieved as I worried that he might award a penalty but then from my view on the sidelines I watched as the ball curled into the top corner of our net, Marshall stranded. Superb execution but the second time the referee cost us that day. With 10 minutes remaining we had a reshuffle and brought Taylor on for Chvojka but it was in vain. There was only time for Old Parms to test the reflexes of Marshall one more time and the veteran was more than ready to make a great save down to his left.
MoM: Marshall – by a mile.
Team: Marshall, Guenzi, Kralik, Jeater (C), Kanybekov (McGloglan), McGoohan, Donnelly, Cumberbatch, Sulemanji, Chvojka (Taylor), McGahey (D. Howarth).