Bartlett says March Town United is going in right direction but players need more protection from referees

PUBLISHED: 10:29 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:29 20 August 2014

Chris Bartlett. Picture: Steve Williams.

Chris Bartlett. Picture: Steve Williams.

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March Town United manager Chris Bartlett says his side is going in the right direction despite two narrow losses.

Dan Woods was on target but the Hares lost 2-1 at Braintree Town Reserves on Saturday.

Last night, they were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Swaffham Town at the GER in a game marred by an ankle injury to David Jackson, which will keep him out for four to six weeks.

Bartlett, speaking after the Swaffham game, said: “We were disappointed we didn’t take something from the game because we had enough chances. If you don’t convert them, you won’t win games. We are heading in the right direction.”

After an even first 30 minutes, Swaffham took the lead in freak circumstances - goalkeeper Dave Beeny came rushing out of his goal to clear the ball but it took a massive bobble and he hacked at thin air, allowing Swaffham striker Alex Vincent to roll the ball into an empty net.

March deservedly equalised on 54 minutes through Ash Brand. Escorcio turned his defender in the box and shot across the face of goal, where Brand bundled home.

There was then an 11 minute stoppage while the Swaffham keeper received treatment for a dislocated finger.

But he was unable to continue, so an outfield player took over in goal.

However, five minutes later, Swaffham got the winner. Joe Woods headed home Vincent’s inswinging corner.

Bartlett felt his side were on the wrong end of several refereeing calls.

He said: “One Swaffham player should have been sent off for a two footed challenge. He committed nine fouls in the game and only got a yellow card.

“You are going to come up against teams that try to bully you and if the referee is strong they would finish with 10 or nine men.

“The stoppage (for the goalkeeper’s injury) was 11 minutes yet they only played eight minutes extra time. I asked the linesman and he said they could have as long as they like to replace the goalkeeper. We could have been there all night.”

After four games, March are seventh in the Thurlow Nunn First Division. They host Needham Market Reserves in the league on Saturday, 3pm kick off, who Bartlett describes as a “good, footballing side”.

The Hares are likely to be without three first choice midfielders - As well as Jackson’s injury, Lewis McManus suffered a concussion in last night’s game and Tom Flatters is on holiday.

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