Tenth-placed Swallownest stay close on the heels of ninth-placed Parkgate in Toolstation NCEL Division One today, and in doing so put clear blue water between themselves and Glasshoughton Welfare (11th) with their 2-1 win at the TJ’s Travel Arena this afternoon – and whilst visiting Manager Jordan Stocks was delighted to take the points and move on, the home management team had serious issues with the officiating, writes Colin Muncie.
Sam Pashley gave the home side the lead after just eleven minutes, but Ollie Grady levelled from the spot just four minutes later to send the sides in level in front of the crowd of 80 in Castleford. Grady converted another penalty five minutes into the second half to clinch the win, despite a straight red card for Swallownest’s Ash Cooper, with returning signings Alex Nightingale and Richie Williams playing their part.
Glassy’s Joint Manager, Darren Holmes, lamented an off day for his side, without taking anything away from the visitors. “Unfortunately, a very below par performance from us today,” he admitted. “Swallownest are a hard-working side and we knew how the game would pan out. If we had worked as hard as the previous few games, we would be fine and the chances would come. Unfortunately, and collectively we were not at the races and got what we deserved – which was nothing. Swallownest thoroughly deserved their win today.”
Darren wasn’t entirely convinced by the refereeing. “We are always quick to criticise our players when they don’t perform and it is very rare, we comment on referees,” Darren told us. “But today the man in the middle was very poor. Losing to two penalties – one being more than harsh – is hard to take. You take the rough with the smooth but we seemed to get nothing in the way of smooth today: and although we were very poor the referee was a close second.”
“No excuses,” Darren offered. “We didn’t play well enough to win but it’s a shame when the result isn’t just down to the team’s performance.”
“It was a bad day for us and we look to put it right on Wednesday at Campion.”
Joint Manager, Lee Vigars, was equally forthright. “We are so inconsistent at the moment it’s painful,” he lamented. “We go from putting in a fully committed display last week to the complete opposite today. I’m taking nothing away from Swallownest – they came to our place and did a complete job on us and deserved their win. They never stopped working; they hurried us and were very clever with and without the ball. Swallownest have some good footballers and added with their aggression it’ll take them a long way in this Division – something we need to learn from.”
“Unfortunately, we had too many hiding this afternoon, not prepared to do the hard yards or stick a foot in when it’s going to hurt,” Lee went on. “The last thing we want is for the season to just peter out. There are shirts up for grabs and with plans already in place for next year we need the lads to start showing us they want to be part of those plans going forward.”
Lee turned his attention to the refereeing. “Now, I mentioned a few weeks ago following one of our games about how poor the officials were and got slated by certain people for those comments,” Lee admitted. “Well I’ll brace myself for the backlash again – because today we’ve witnessed possibly the worst performance I’ve ever seen from a referee at this level. He looked completely out of his depth and some of his calls were astounding. All we want as Managers and coaches is consistency: but time after time certain things during a game are pinged and something identical happens two minutes later and is waved away.”
“We had two penalties given against us today,” Lee explained. “The first one was a stone waller. The second however was ludicrous. Their lad smashed the ball goal wards and Walshy has instinctively turned his back, keeping his arms by his side and the ball whacks his shoulder. There’s a mark on him showing everyone where it’s hit him yet the referee can’t give it quick enough. Literally two minutes later it happens again; only this time play is waved on. Even their dugout was laughing – along with us – at just how poor the officials were. It’s not good enough and ruins the game not only for us the Management, but also the players and the supporters who pay good money week in week out to come down and watch.”
“It would be interesting to read the assessor’s report on today’s game as everyone there from both sides had nothing but negative words for how the game was handled.”
Winning Manager Jordan Stocks had emphasised how important the game was, so he was delighted to be heading South with three points. “Today we billed it up as a big six-pointer, to keep us on track of the top ten, and the lads really responded,” Jordan told us. “In the first half we could have wrapped the game up – without a lie we should have been 7-1 up. We were disjointed in patches but we played some really good stuff.”
“We deserved the 3 points and we now move on to Harworth away next Saturday.”