THERE were angry scenes at the end of Horsham’s defeat to Lowestoft Town at Gorings Mead on Saturday following 90 minutes of high controversy.
Most of home fans’ vocal frustrations at full-time were directed at referee Andrew Roberts, who awarded the visitors two penalties, the second a highly dubious decision which killed off any hope of a Horsham comeback.
Hornets manager Hugo Langton was then dismissed for his protests, and despite Ray Freeman’s late header making it 2-1, the hosts then had Williams Peauroux and Seny Diedhiou sent off in stoppage time as the controversy continued.
One Horsham fan then directed a furious rant at the Lowestoft bench and in chaotic scenes at the full-time whistle the Horsham supporters vented their fury further at Mr Roberts as he left the field.
Peauroux was handed a second yellow card after colliding with visiting keeper Andrew Reynolds, who incurred the wrath of the home fans for writing around on the floor, and in the ensuing melee Diedhiou was also shown a red card for an alleged headbutt as it finished 2-1.
Hornets manager Langton reacted to the chaos with extreme dignity, attempting to restrain the angry Horsham fan and then calm the whole situation down, but he did not hold back in his criticism of the man in black.
He said: “The referee has killed the game today. He’s killed us, I’ve had two players sent off that are now going to be missing games.
“Seny, one of their players put his head in his head. That goalkeeper, god bless him, has made a meal of the incident.
“But that’s fair enough, when you’re under the cosh at 2-1 keepers are going to do that, I understand that and I’m not having a go at the goalkeeper, I’m having a go at the referee.
“Other refs who’ve come here will tell you, when they do well, I go in that room and say ‘fellas, I believe in praising people when they do well and I thought you were excellent today,’ like the Leatherhead guy, the ref at Lewes was brilliant, and you praise people for it.
“But that guy there, and I’m in trouble already so I might as well go to town, how is he refing at this level of football, it’s embarrassing.
“The whole ground is laughing at him, their supporters are laughing at him, their bench is laughing at him.
“Don’t get me wrong, the first penalty, 100 per cent can’t argue with it. But at 1-0 you’re in the game, but he’s killed us with that second penalty, and it weren’t a penalty.
“When you’re down the bottom and you’re fighting tooth and nail for everything as my team did today, and I’ve just told them I’m proud to be associated with them today. The blocks on the goal line, that’s a team that cares, that’s a team that’s together and they’ve had a go.
“The bloke’s just ruined the game for us. I wish him no ill, but I hope I never see him again in my life.”
With regards to his own sending off he said: “I’ve not sworn at the referee all game, that’s not me, I don’t swear.
“I was talking to Wilko (assistant manager Craig Wilkins), I was trying to calm him down if I’m honest and I said ‘calm down, the bloke’s a clown,’ and I’ve been called over and sent off.
“If I’d called him something stronger, I can’t defend myself.”
Despite the extremely bitter taste left by the manner of the defeat, Langton praised his opponents as a ‘proper football club’ and said he hopes the go on to gain promotion.
The result saw Lowestoft go top of the Ryman Premier while Horsham stay bottom by six points and are now 12 points from safety with the trip of Wealdstone Town to Gorings Mead this Tuesday.