Bewildered Painter blasts decision to replay abandoned game a ‘joke’ and a ‘farce’

Football, Southern Combination League, Premier Division: Broadbridge Heath. Steve Painter.  Pic Steve Robards  SR1628255 SUS-160926-131620001
Football, Southern Combination League, Premier Division: Broadbridge Heath. Steve Painter. Pic Steve Robards SR1628255 SUS-160926-131620001

Broadbridge Heath manager Steve Painter has been left bewildered by the Southern Combination League decision to replay their derby game which was abandoned four minutes into injury-time last week.

Horsham YMCA goalkeeper Sam Smith went down under a challenge in added time of the Premier Division clash, seconds before Ollie Moore tapped home to give Broadbridge Heath a 2-1 lead.

The home stopper suffered a dislocated elbow as he fell awkwardly in the build-up to the goal after a mid-air collision with an opponent and required to be taken to A&E by ambulance.

Despite Horsham YMCA’s claims for a foul on the keeper, referee Luke Chapman let the goal stand and then - when it was obvious as to the seriousness of the injury - blew the full-time whistle despite two minutes being left on the clock, with YM boss Peter Buckland admitting he ‘conceded’ the game and told the referee to blow.

An SCFL inquiry has ordered the match to be replayed and Painter has blasted the decision a ‘farce’ and has suggested they will give YM the points and not fulfil the fixture.

He said: “The whole of Broadbridge Heath Football Club are fuming to say the least. It’s an amazing decision and we are going to contest it, it’s been a couple of hours since I have heard the news and I am almost lost for words.

“At this precise moment in time I won’t be going to a replayed game and the players say they won’t be playing it. It’s beyond belief.

“It’s a joke, a farce, and it honestly makes we want to jack it all in to be honest. That’s Steve Painter’s honest opinion and as far as I am concerned YM can take the points.

“Something has gone wrong here somewhere. I have spoken to various match officials, UEFA B coaches, former professional players, other managers and all of them expected the result to stand. Nobody thought it would be replayed.

“It’s the players and the club I feel sorry for, there is not one player in our club who does not feel this decision is a joke.

“It makes me think why do I bother? We have gone out their legitimately and won the game, so why are we being punished? On the bare facts if the referee’s report has gone in as what truly happen, then I can’t see any reason why it might have to be replayed.

“The referee gave the goal, the referee blew the full-time whistle after YM told him to do so, I’d like to see his report, but I’m sure we won’t be allowed.

“I have asked our secretary Andy Crisp to appeal the decision. He has spoken to the FA and they have told him the decision is up to the league, but says it seems extremely harsh on our club.”

SCFL chairman Steve Nealgrove has confirmed that the league board decided that the match will have to be replayed due to the fact that there was still time left to play.

He said: “Based on the information from the referee in his report, he said he abandoned the match with two minutes of added time still left to play.

“Those minutes would have been part of the normal time of play in the match, so the league made the decision due to the fact the score was 2-1, that the fixture will have to be replayed.

“We took the view with the amount of time left that Horsham YMCA could have been able to score another goal.

“It was based on the match referee’s report that he had been forced to abandon the game with time still to be played, that’s the key point. We did not consider any reports from either clubs and had no details from YMCA.”

YM boss Buckland was keen to make clear that they did not approach the league or official to give any opinion on the situation and would have been content with any outcome.

He said: “I’d like to stress 100 per cent that there has been absolutely nothing from Horsham YMCA Football Club to encourage a replay.

“I have not spoken to the league and did not to the referee afterwards on the night, nor did anyone else at the club.

“It is what it is to me, if the league said we didn’t have to replay it, we would have accepted that.”

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