Furious Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath slammed man in the middle Benjamin Speedie for ‘probably the worst refereeing display I’ve witnessed’ in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Chester.
The Reds, who had lost their four previous National League North games, had come from behind to lead, but they were shot down as referee Speedie showed a red card to James Clifton and then, in the fifth added minute, awarded Chester their second contentious penalty of the game as they stole a late victory.
Heath seethed: “Things have transpired against us today - you had to be here to believe it.
“In my 18 years of management that is probably the worst refereeing display I’ve witnessed.
“There was the sending off, a penalty at the start of the game and a penalty at the end - it was beyond belief.
“He couldn’t wait to give that first penalty and at the end he (Josh Gowling) had won the ball cleanly. It was never a penalty.
“I couldn’t criticise the players, but we’ve had two penalties awarded against us away from home that are just bizarre
He added: “Clifton’s sending-off was also bizarre - the ball just spun off him on the edge of the area and it was just an honest challenge.
“To give a red was just beyond belief - it was just bizarre.
“I’m lost for words - the penalty in the last minute just summed up the referee’s performance - he’s won the ball as clean as a whistle.”
Asked about the debut performance of Reece Styche, Heath said: “l thought he was excellent.
“His finish was quality It was difficult for him when we went down to 10 men - he had to feed off scraps.
“But he causes problems and asks questions. It’s just unfortunate that we had to play with 10 men for almost 70 minutes.”