Banbury United boss Mike Ford could not hide his frustration – and anger – despite seeing his side end a run of three straight Evo-Stik League South defeats.
The Puritans picked up a solitary point against Redditch United on Tuesday but injuries to on-loan Northampton Town’s Sean Whaler, whose season was finished shortly after he came off the bench, and Charlie Hawtin, who was the victim of a late challenge by Michael McGrath made it a costly one.
Top scorer Ravi Shamsi gave United the lead in Tuesday’s premier division central clash but Robert Evans equalised with a stunner in stoppage-time. However, the game was overshadowed by both injuries.
Ford said: “It feels a bit like a defeat because the equaliser came so late, especially as we’ve also got two players with bad injuries.
“The referee cost us the game. It was a competitive game of football and I’m sure their player did not mean the challenge on Charlie Hawtin but he was about 20 minutes late.
“I just don’t get how the referee couldn’t see it wasn’t a red card. If it is, then they are down to ten and the second half is completely different. You don’t like to see players sent off but if it’s a deserved red card then you get the advantage.
It feels a bit like a defeat because the equaliser came so late especially, as we’ve also got two players with bad injuriesPuritans boss Mike Ford
“Ultimately, part of a referee’s job is to take care of the players and that tackle may cost Charlie Hawtin the last ten games of the season. It was the most blatant red card I’ve seen in a very long time as a manager.
“All I want is fairness from referees and I don’t think decisions have gone our way this season. The challenge warranted a red card because my player has suffered from it.
“The referee let a lot of challenges go unpunished in the first half and then gave some stupid free-kicks in the second half.”