When news happens, text AND and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
New Street share the spoils in basement battle
Hythe and Dibden FC are hoping to move to their new ground just up the road, in time for the start of next season and New Street will not be disappointed to wave goodbye to the Ewart Rec after another frustrating and controversial clash last Saturday.
The 1-1 result does not begin to tell the tale of a match which only went ahead after referee Gibbens declared the pitch fit, but with reservations, despite it having no lying water and being no worse than good to soft in racing parlance.
Indeed Mr Gibbens might have wished he had called it off as he had a game to forget, sending off three players, booking five others, awarding a penalty and having it retaken and refusing three others in 90 minutes which was never remotely dirty.
New Street played for over an hour with ten men after Tommy Gentleman was sent off for a tackle which the home officials conceded was barely worth a caution and by the time Hythe were reduced to nine men late on for two similar challenges it was too late for Street to take full advantage and they were forced to settle for a draw.
“In the end it was not a bad point” said Street manager Phil Andrews “we played for over an hour with ten men and deserved a draw. We had enough chances which was the frustrating part as that was some of the best football we have played all season.”
Andrews picked out the experience of Matt Davis as being influential saying he “made a difference and is an organiser.”
Playing down hill and with the breeze Street almost took the lead inside the first minute as Stuart Anderson just missed a free-kick then at the other end Ben Johnson headed over at the other end. Hythe were giving away too many free-kicks and Davis floated another for Shane Lock to volley straight at George Passingham.
The game flowed and Darren Boag and Charlie Willett both tested Street keeper Dave Tasker, who was equal to both before the visitors took the lead with a fine goal. Nic Oliver and Prince Xamela combined with some one touch passing and young Lock volleyed home to give his side a deserved lead.
That was as good as it got as Gentleman slipped while challenging Johnson and referee Gibbens showed him the red card with 25 minutes on the clock. Street continued to attack and should have had a penalty ten minutes before the break when Lock was caught but referee Gibbens played an advantage before refusing to go back and award the spot kick.
After the break Street had more reason to feel aggrieved as Nic Oliver nodded a Kevin Doughty free-kick against the far post and Xamela was close with a 40 yard half volley but it was a taster for a bizarre last half hour. Lock had another penalty claim waved away and another Davis free-kick was headed at Passingham by Anderson before Wayne O’Dell went down in the box and having played advantage referee Gibbens brought the play back and pointed to the spot, further enraging the Street players. To add fuel to the fire Tasker saved Dean LaVelle’s kick but Gibbens ordered it to be retaken and he made no mistake second time around.
Both teams went for the jugular as temperatures rose and Xamela should have clinched it when his poor chip went straight to Passingham before the referee got in on the act again, dismissing Darren Boag for a foul on Anderson with ten minutes remaining. Street had a third penalty appeal turned down then after Tasker had superbly denied Ash Hewer, O’Dell joined the others in the shower after another foul and the game ended in confusion and frustration for both sides who are desperate at he wrong end of the table.
"You don't play advantage when it is a penalty" said Andrews "and if you do make sure it is right at both ends."