It was late heartbreak for Parkgate at Sandygate last night as their poor run of results -and luck- in Toolstation NCEL Division One continued after an 85th-minute goal condemned the Steelmen to defeat in a game which is unlikely to live long in the memories of any of the 217 crowd who watched it-and Parkgate Manager Billy Fox was infuriated by the officiating during a hard-fought local derby, writes Colin Muncie for the Parkgate FC Website and the Bootiful Game.
Defences dominated, and the visitors back line looked solid with news signing Joe Jerrison impressing in central defence; and when the home side did break through, Chris Butt in the Parkgate goal was in his usual excellent form. Chris Wood went close for Parkgate after a near post flick on from Martin Brissett, and the lively Hallam front trio of Callum Littlejohn, Mitch Husbands and Sam Fewkes kept the visitors back line on their toes, but as half-time approached, it was an idiosyncratic refereeing performance which provided the main half time talking point in the queue for Ann’s Cabin.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first. Hallam introduced Micah Bishop up front, and shortly after he went close for the Countrymen, Martin Brissett headed just wide for Parkgate.
With the clock running down and a draw looking the most likely outcome, a long ball from Hallam’s left caused confusion in the Parkgate defence and defender Gareth Griffiths stabbed home from close range to give the home side an 85th minute lead.
There was still time for the referee to add his own final punctuation mark to an esoteric evening when he red carded Parkgate defender Brandon Cardwell, who was receiving treatment for a serious knee injury before the final whistle confirmed the win for the home side.
Foxy was left unimpressed by the game in general and the officiating in particular “It was a drab game of football tonight between two teams struggling to find any form of consistency” he told us. “We did not lose because of the referee, but he did his best to totally ruin the match. The standard of refereeing in this Division is disgusting and the arrogance of some of the refs is unbelievable to say how shocking they are.” It’s even a joke now between the teams that when the referee calls you in before the kickoff and says it’s not about him -it most definitely is!”
A busy week of Cup football lies ahead for the Parkgate gaffer, and his playing resources are likely to be tested to the maximum.” The game should have finished 0-0 tonight but for an error by us and we go in to Saturday’s game against Chadderton expecting a good performance; but we will be without a few due to the toils of three games in a week and we will lose Cardwell now he has been sent off for being fouled in tonight’s game”.
“We have three Cup games next week and we want to progress in them all”.