A much needed 3 points was taken away from the Shiners when goalkeeper Daz Keeling was sent off in the 73rd minute when he was adjudged to have fouled Coleshill striker. At this point the Shiners were already down to 10 men after seeing Marc Strzyzewski sent off for two yellow cards.
The whole game saw decisions that bewildered both sides as the ref took centre stage with very strange decisions that left people scratching their heads. The talk of players, coaches and spectators from both sides and neutrals post game was just how much the official spoilt the game.
Its so disappointing for the players struggling at the bottom of the league and fighting for every point when it is taken away from you, there was a real feeling around he ground the guys put a good performance and to fair matched the league leaders and were heading for a deserved win.
Tommy Leighton gave league debuts to Kieran O Connell who arrived from Belper Town and Tom Lewis who returned to club from Borrowash Vics this week. Frazer Kirk was added to the starting XI in central midfield.
The game started well with a debut goal for Tom Lewis who found space down the inside right and his pace found him a couple of yards and his low drive across the keeper nestled into the bottom corner. A 3rd minute lead that shocked the leaders however a response was immediate as the Shiners continued to push forward. A series of corners by the home side caused pressure without directly working the keeper. King manufactured some room on the right and got a shot away but it went narrowly wide.
The referee made his first impact shortly after Booking Jellyman for the very first tackle of the game, as Coleshill srtiker slipped over and Jellyman also slipped on the very wet and heavy playing surface, it was a foul for sure but a yellow card was incredibly harsh and a long time for a central defender to be on a caution on such a slippery surface.
Shortly after another booinking for the home side when Dodds running to clear a ball on half way had the ball nipped away from him as he went to clear caught the player again on a wet surface Dodds just couldn't stop. Comments were made that the way he was throwing cards around no way would this finish 11 v 11. He then spent time talking to players to take free kick is whole management of the game was causing concern to both dugouts.
This was compelled 1 minute later when a Coleshill player caught O Connell late no different to the previous two cautions but unbelievably no caution was given show total inconsistency.
Coleshill started to get more possession and began to apply pressure but failed to work Keeling in the home goal seeing a few shots go aimlessly wide. Crosses were thrown into the box but Jellyman and Stryzewski dealt with them well with the Shiners able to play on the break using Lewis pace.
Another booking followed for the Shiners when Tudgay stretched for a ball on the edge of the box and again the ref coudn't wait to get out the yellow card. to which the small crowd shouted "you dont know what you doing"
Shortly after another strange incident as O Connell picked up the ball after a half clearance and was about to attack the full back with an over lap the referee blew his whistle and stopped play to talk to two players who were running off the ball and shrug each other off - this drew comments from the the Shiners gaffa the he explained that he didnt want the shrugging to escalate further so i stopped it !!! Shiners were incensed as they were in a fantastic position to attack but instead a drop ball was given and the ball returned the whole length of the pitch to the home keeper. It was becoming mind boggling to both benches who continued to scratch the head. The ref then came over shouting in the managers face which showed poor man management skills to say the least so spectator could clearly hear him!!
Back to football and Coleshill went close when a deep cross found a player arriving at the back post but his volley went high and wide. as the ball was cleared and returned the Coleshill bench were incensed with a off the ball incident, the linesman said he didnt see anything but almost a minute and half later the linesman waves his flag and stopped play..... we all thought that the ref was going to be called over to chat to Coleshil bench but no the referee called over both captains and chatted to them about what nobody knows. There hasn't been a bad tackle all day so again spectators again berated the ref.
Shortly before half time Coleshill had a good chance but shot wide and then a fanstatic recovery tackle on Daniel Tymon by Jack Tyson saved a certain attempt on goal with a last gasp tackle but the ref gave a goal kick.
At half time both managers went to speak to the ref as he left the pitch and he just laughed at them and then as he was jeered at by fans from both sides again he just laughed at them
Shiners kicked down the slope second half and again the game was evenly balanced with very little chances being created with defenses well on top and simply no attempts on goal. both sides tried to play football on a surface that was cutting up and becoming a bit bobbly. That bounce saw a half chance come when a break down the left saw a cross land but simply not bounce and Strzyzewski block the ball against the outside of the post but with a flag up for offside that was the closest Coleshill has come to a equaliser.
Shortly after Strzyzewski was cautioned when a ball broke on the edge of the box and as the ball was moved he caught the attacker but the striker left his foot in on the home central defender which incensed Strzyzwski but for this ref apparently not enough for a booking but enough for a talking which seemed to be par of the course today depending on which colour shirt you were wearing. The free kick attempt went weakly wide of the far post. A long ball by Dodds over the top saw Rae chase it down and very nearly nipped in between keeper and defender.
The keepers long kick was headed on and as Strzyzewski challenged for the ball and again the ball was nipped away from the defender who caught the player and was immediately shown a second yellow card, and saw the home side reduced to 10 men.
The game continued and despite going down to 10 men Coleshill still failed to crate any chances or work the home keeper. Then the moment that infuriated home supporters occurred in the 73rd minute. A long straight ball lifted into the inside right channel where the ball bounced just in front of Keeling but again didnt bounce but actually died in the wet surface which resulted in Keeling not collecting it cleaning as the ball broke free he had one hand on the ball as the onrushing striker challenged for the ball he kicked it away goal ward as the arms and legs were clearly tangled the striker went down. Jellyman was around covering and actually dribbling the ball away from the goal the referee awarded a penalty but then to the shock of all at the ground he showed Keeling a red card. This was simply incorrect and everyone in the ground from both sides agreed, firstly on the point that if there had no been a tangle the striker would not have got to the ball as jellyman had all the time in the world to clear the ball and secondly and importantly the double jeopardy rule which says that if a penalty is awarded that a goal scoring opportunity isn't prevented and as the ball was kicked out of Keeling's right hand, it shows the proximity of the strikers foot and Keeling hand/arm.
The referee then came over to the dugout to berate Keeling for not leaving the pitch area when he was actually exchanging his keeper shirt and gloves to Edwards who was going to replace in goal which again showed he had lost any idea of what was going on.
He then continued and removed the physio from the dugout area something else that is fundamentally incorrect.
Eventually when we got back to football Coleshill hit the ball into the bottom corner to equaliser on 73 minutes a goal a goal which really didnt look like coming and a get out of jail card handed to them.
With 9 men and all substitutions made the Shiners were in for a tough last 17 minutes and so it proved as the failed to keep the ball. Jellyman was caught late as he cleared the ball out of play by far the worst tackle of the game but not even a free kick was given and it was one that created players to react around the offender. Coleshill worked the ball well from the throw in switching play and stretching the Shiners defense as they loaded the box Tymon arrived and deflected the ball into the net to give the league leaders a 83rd minute lead - a lead that really hadn't looked likely. As he celebrated at the edge of the pitch the ref booked him for his celebrations and if there was ever a token booking that was it.
A third came again from good wide play and a fine header from six yards and it three and really rubbed salt in the wounds of all involved with the Shiners. The ref then found time to book another Coleshill player to jeers of the home support again another token caution to even it up.
The final whistle went a victory turned into a loss by what can only be described as controversial manner.
As the players left the field the home support jeered the ref and again he laughed at them and then even had the gaul to turn back around and laugh at the fans again.
All involved felt sorry for such and honest hard working performance from the Shiners players; which was so directly impacted by a totally unacceptable performance from the man in the middle. In football you don't ask for favors from officials but you totally expect a fair crack at the whip and today the level of inconsistency, lack of application and the man management skills which really at times bordered on arrogance and rudeness were just stacked against us.Refs need to earn respect through being approachable and having a rapport with those involved in the game and without any doubt all coaches and players will tell you the best officials are those you can talk to !! The assessor certainly spent a long time in the dressing room after the game with the man of the moment.
Coleshill have been top all year and in this league that takes some doing and you often say that a team needs to win ugly when you don't play well, i think our players performance made it hard for them and despite a huge difference in league position we performed well.
We should take great confidence from that performance and simply use this performance to move forward into our next games. If you perform like this for the rest of the season we can easily drag ourselves out of the drop zone.
We wish Coleshill all the best in their promotion push their staff and supporters were a credit to the club in the assessment of that game and are very level headed which is so important in a promotion challenge.
Updated 17:08 - 21 Jan 2018 by Kev Bunting