Referee blasted as Rebels are laughed at

Slough Town

Slough Town

Bushay (17), Baron (65)


Walker (29, pen, 62, pen), Steele (44)
League Attendance: 1659 Brian Lee
Ref Paul Norman was blamed for "destroying" this local derby and denying the Rebels a deserved three points after a series of highly controversial decisions.

Slough boss Dave Russell tore into the official after the final whistle, after Woking strode into a decisive lead during a 20 minute period before the half-time interval.

Mr Norman's afternoon of madness began on 24 minutes, when Ansil Bushay was left one-on-one with 'keeper Batty and was flung to the ground as he rounded him and stepped into the area. The ref, almost unbelievably, remained unmoved.

On 27 minutes, Woking got into the box for the first time and created a furious goalmouth scramble after Paris and Baron had both failed to clear their lines. Steele tripped over in the confusion and Norman pointed to the spot. Delroy Preddie was booked for protesting, and as Clive Walker lined up the spot-kick seven players began pushing each other angrily at the edge of the box. The official merely looked on, and when Walker struck the penalty after a two-minute delay Preddie was easily beaten.

The Surrey side added a second on the stroke of halftime after Walker tugged at Brian Lee's shirt as they raced towards the corner flag. Mr Norman somehow decided this merited a freekick to the visitors, from which a corner was earned after Lee headed over the bar. Steele slipped in and nipped the ball into the net.

Russell - who raced from his dugout to confront the referee at the break - was left aghast by the decisions "What he was thinking of I don't know. I cannot believe that first goal was a penalty - he was just sucked in by people behind the goal. I find it incredible that we went in 2-1 down,"

Referring to the Lee incident, he fumed : "I don't normally have a go at refs, but I have never known a freekick to be given for shielding the ball and I told him that. He destroyed the game."

Things had begun so well for Slough, who took the lead on 17 minutes through a crowd-pleasing finish from Ansil Bushay. Mark Fiore's cross provided the end to a well thought-out move, and the ball was then headed out to Bushay after Garfield Blackman was beaten to the far post jump. When it came back, he controlled it and volleyed low into the corner of the net.

The Rebels had already come very close to permeating a close-knit defence as both sides operated tight offside traps. Using Mark West to hold the ball for runners proved an effective tactic - although it restricted his freedom up-front - and allowed both Neil Catlin and Chris Honor to test Batty after swapping passes with him. West himself should have scored just after Bushay's goal, but when he turned Trevor Baron's flick-on into the net he was deemed offside.

Only when the ref intervened did the visitors look dangerous, despite Walker's promptings, and their only other chance of the half came as Steele headed over following a dubious free-kick on the left wing.

It was a freshly fired-up Slough who ruled the second half too, with the midfield providing excellent value for money and man of the match Lee holding the defence firm. As predicted, only veteran Walker found a way round him, but for a side currently sitting pretty at the top Woking were a real disappointment.

The Rebels proved they had the fight in them, but a continuous stream of contentious decisions knocked them off their stride and made it difficult to find any sort of consistency.
Still, they had the openings - Bushay rounded Batty without being thrown to the floor but couldn't find the finish to get past two players on the line in the best of several good moves emanating from himself and West.

That all came to an end with Mr Norman's only correct decision of the day on 62 minutes, as he awarded a second penalty after Ellis was tripped by Honor. Walker did the honours, but Baron replied quickly with a 10-yard finish at the other end, Batty lying prostrate on the floor after blocking Blackman and Bushay's efforts.

Still Norman had one shock left, further marring a contest that was far from dirty by dismissing Steele late in the day. His offence was to mistakenly sky a shot over the fencing behind the goal, which was deemed timewasting and earned him his second booking. In the end, then, it was just one man's efforts that ruined 11 players' day.

It might well be hard to be a referee, with such a heavy burden constantly sitting on your shoulders - it must be near impossible when you are as incompetent as this one.

Woking Lineup


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