Heanor Town boss Glen Clarence said some of the decisions made by Saturday’s match officials were funnier than anything offered up by his television on New Year’s Eve.
The Lions manager saw his side lose 3-2 to Shepshed Dynamo in a pulsating game, watched by a bumper crowd of 403 at the Town Ground.
For all the attacking football, most of it created by the hosts, the game will probably be remembered for Jamie Clarke’s sending off.
The striker scored from the spot late in the second half to bring Heanor to within a goal of their visitors, but in his haste to retrieve the ball leapt over goalkeeper Jack Harrop, caught him in the back of the head and earned a red card.
Clarence, perhaps keen to avoid FA punishment for criticising the match officials, obviously held back from voicing his true feelings, but couldn’t quite hide his bewilderment.
“I think the match was spoiled, I can’t really say what I want to say.
“I think we lost for reasons I can’t speak about.
“Their keeper has been penalised for time wasting with the ball in his hands and we get a drop ball outside the box.
“Well if he’s outside the box with the ball in his hands it’s not a drop ball.
“That was funnier than anything I watched on tv on New Year’s Eve.”
Clarence believed that Heanor weren’t the only ones the officials failed to impress.
“When both sets of managers are laughing about something we’re not allowed to talk about, when both sets of fans and 150 netruals boo the officials off the pitch, that says something.
“I won’t say anything, Shepshed won’t say anything, read the neutrals’ and ground hoppers’ blog.”
There was plenty of positivity for Heanor to take into this weekend’s game at home to Stourport, however, despite the defeat.
“We came out second half and were really good, we had a go,” he said.
“I don’t mind losing when you’ve given everything. I think the fans have seen that and 403 is a great crowd, they’ve seen two decent sets of footballers who gave everything.
“All I will expect (against Stourport) is what I saw second half and what I saw last Monday and if I get that, win, lose or draw I’ll be happy.
“It was important to speak about that at full-time, they gave us everything.
“Recently over the last couple of months we’ve been guilty of not doing that, going home flat, scratching our heads.
“We’ve got a good side that is working hard for each other, that’s together and that’s why I’m not too downbeat.”