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Matlock's Gaffer Blasts Referee

Friday 1st October 2010
Matlock boss Mark Atkins laid the blame for his side's second defeat of the season firmly at the door of Mansfield referee Mark Jones after Chasetown edged a seven-goal thriller at the Reynolds Stadium on Tuesday night.

Martin Atkins"I've been involved in the game now for twenty five years and I can quite easily say that's the worst refereeing performance I've ever seen." Atkins blasted.

Jones left the field to a chorus of boos after denying the Gladiators what looked to be one definite and one possible penalty, disallowing what again looked to be two legal headed goals from Dene Cropper and Colin Marrison, and ignoring a foul challenge in the build up to Chasetown's second goal.

Atkins visited the official's dressing room to discuss the incidents after the match and was not impressed with the explanation he received.

"I can't and don't want to say too much about what was said. For one I don't want to get into trouble and we may take things further. What he did say didn't make sense. We've been summoned to managers meetings to discuss refereeing and other issues. Neale Barry, a former Premiership referee talked to us about what is expected from referees at this level, but the one tonight in my view and in just about everyone that was here at the match was well below standard.

" Big decisions can cost you the game and they did for us tonight. We had two perfectly good goals disallowed. That could cost us the league or a place in the play offs at the end of the season. The two disallowed goals changed the complexion of the game with Chasetown scoring more or less straight after the first one and then the second one would have put us 3-2 ahead and in a great position to go on and win the game. Then we should have had a free kick in the build up to their second goal. Again, it's cost us."

Atkins said he praised his players for their performance afterwards.

"That was our best attacking ninety minutes all season. Their keeper's played ever so well. The desire levels from everyone were excellent. We passed the ball very very well. I've told them that I cannot fault their effort and they must take that performance without the result into the games which lie ahead."

Looking ahead

Matlock will be hoping for better luck when they visit table topping Northwich Victoria on Saturday. But the Vics will be smarting from a shock 2-1 FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Replay home defeat by Evo-Stik First Division South Sheffield on Tuesday.

"It'll be a tough game, for they're not top of the league for nothing, but we'll go there looking to express ourselves just as we've done tonight, work hard and do our level best to come home with the points."

Atkins says there are a few 'knocks and bumps' in the Town camp but he expects everyone to recover for the weekend, including striker Nathan Joynes who sat out the Chasetown defeat through food poisoning.

"Dene Cropper has come in for his first start and we have to be careful with him because of his knee. We thought if we could get sixty or so minutes off him we'd be pleased, but he's been on for more like seventy five. He's won his headers, led the line well and been a constant danger, he was excellent." said Atkins.

FA Cup

Matlock have a clear midweek ahead of their home FA Cup tie with Eastwood Town on Saturday week after hearing that their scheduled Tuesday night opponents Worksop Town have a Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup tie at Brodsworth on Wednesday.

Kris Bowler scored the only goal of the Gladiators 2nd Qualifying Round win at Carlton to set up a third successive tie against Nottinghamshire opponents in this season's competition. Eastwood needed a 3-1 replay win at Stafford Rangers to make it through to a date at the Reynolds Stadium.

"We've got a home draw so we've got to be pleased with that. We'll go into the tie as underdogs, Eastwood are in Blue Square North with some good players but I've seen them a few times and we're looking forward to the tie."

Matlock made rather heavy weather of eliminating a Carlton side managed by ex Gladiators full back Les McJannett and including their former midfielder Curtis Shaw. They should have been out of sight instead of just one goal to the good at the interval, given their dominance. But the Millers fought back in a more even second half and staged a late rally after Colin Marrison's sending off.

This time Atkins had no complaints with the referee's decision.

"The referee got it right, Colin shouldn't have reacted in the way he did after being belted in the face himself. He lost his head and he'll learn from this. We should have put the game to bed by half time. We scored the goal but then lacked composure in anround their penalty box. To be fair Carlton made more of a go of it in the second half. Adam Sollitt saved well and they had the shot that hit the post but I never thought we'd not win it. I always felt comfortable."

Atkins also revealed that the Gladiators have put seven days notice in on an attacker and he hopes to have an answer by the weekend.

The Gladiators two outstanding league fixtures have been rearranged. They will visit Nantwich Town on Tuesday October 19 and host Worksop on Tuesday November 16.






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