Town boss blames referee for defeat

Heanor Town manager, Glen Clarence.
Heanor Town manager, Glen Clarence.

Unhappy Heanor Town boss Glen Clarence was critical of the referee after controversial goals sent his young side to defeat at Coventry United.

The home side, two places above the eighth-placed Lions in the Midlands League Premier Division, won 2-1 to gain revenge for a defeat by the same margin at Heanor in November.

All the goals came in the second half as the home side struck from a disputed 51st minute penalty and then a more controversial Kai Williams injury-time follow-up after young keeper Adam Jablonski tipped up a Joshua O’Grady lob.

Kai Williams looked to have knocked the ball over the line with his arm — a crucial goal as Joe Naylor then pulled one back for the Lions deeper into stoppage time.

Disappointed Clarence, who was proud of the performance from his depleted side hit by injuries and suspensions, said: “It was a blatant handball, but what can we do about it? It’s not the first time it has happened.

“We went there with a very young side to play a good team — just look at the players and budget there — and grafted. We deserved something out of the game.

“For that to be taken away from them with a ridiculous decision was hard. We deserved a draw at least”

Clarence was also angry at the award of the breakthrough penalty for a foul by another youngster, Josh Craddock, who was making his debut in senior football.

“I thought it was soft, although the player himself said it was a penalty and thought he was too keen to get to the ball.

“But he played very well for his first game.”

On Saturday Town host Westfields, who reached the first round of the FA Cup earlier this season.