The home settled quickly and was soon on the offensive - looking for that opening to score first.
Billy Adcock, Ismail Ehui and Steve Brown, twice from a corner then a free kick, went close and Sandro Costa was always a menace down the left wing.
The visitors rarely troubled the ever reliable home defence although Berkley Laurencin needed to react quickly to push the ball away for a corner.
Controlling the play and having more of the ball it seemed only a matter of time before a goal would come for the ‘Scholars’.
And for two minutes it seemed it had. On 34 mins a free kick from the right from Michael Murray saw a defender only partially clear under pressure from Steve Brown but the ball fell to Ismael Ehui who turned and shot home. The referee awarded the goal but then went towards his assistant as the away manager was incensed with the awarding of the goal and had run down the touchline to remonstrate with the assistant. This then saw the two officials in discussion and then the referee awarded a free kick on the basis of ‘I think he was offside’. Three minutes had elapsed, the goal had been announced and a total lack of clarity had left the crowd and the home team bemused.
The next action was a challenge from George Nicolas that saw all twenty-two players gather in the centre circle - it was not to discuss Brexit… After further discussions between the three match officials - working on the basis that three heads are better than one - finally opted to send off George Nicholas and book a player on each side.
Fortunately half time arrived quickly enough to allow the temperature to cool down.
Michael Murray, made way for the returning Eoin Casey and the home side spent the second half on the offensive again - it was difficult to remember they were a man light.
Berkley Laurencin had one straight forward save to make and a forward blazed over when in a good position - otherwise it was the ‘Scholars’ constantly probing forward to try to find that elusive one goal to seal the points.
But they never got the rub of a green - a clear hand ball from a defender on the ground went unnoticed…
Should the game be replayed?
As the referee blew for full time - despite an assistant saying there was three minutes to go - in the 89th minute (a time confirmed by many officials on both sides). With delays and bookings and substitutions there should have been a further one minute of normal time and three minutes of added on time.
A Mickey Mouse watch?
Sadly the referee was not competent for this level and both teams and the crowd suffered accordingly.
Team: Berkley Laurencin, Chris Doyle, Andy Lomas, Lee O’Leary, Steve Brown, Sean Grace, Sandro Costa, Billy Adcock, Michael Murray (Eoin Casey 46 mins), George Nicholas, Ismael Ehui
Subs (not used): Paul Symes, Carl Pearce, Joakim Ehui, Greg Marsh
Man of the match: the ten men (11) who batted for 51 mins still trying to win the game
Updated 10:27 - 6 Feb 2018 by Steve Ringrose