March Town boss Chris Bartlett blasts referee after King's Lynn Town Reserves end Hares' 2016 unbeaten run
PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 February 2016
March boss Chris Bartlett was left frustrated by a first defeat of 2016.
The Hares’ fine recent run stalled when they were pipped 2-1 at King’s Lynn Town Reserves in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division last Saturday.
And there were plenty of reasons for Bartlett to feel aggrieved at the final scoreline on a day when a handling offence went unpunished in the build-up to the hosts’ opening goal while his own team saw three efforts kept out by goal-line clearances.
“It could, and probably should, have been a different outcome,” admitted Bartlett.
“The refereeing was as bad as I have ever encountered at this level the handball he missed had a big impact on the game.
“Our defending was sloppy for what proved to be the winning goal and we also weren’t clinical enough to take more of the chances we created.
“It goes down as a disappointing defeat and as far as I’m concerned, we should still be unbeaten this year.”
March reacted well to the controversial opener from Lynn man Alex Clunan. They were behind for just seven minutes until Ondre Odain levelled with his second goal in as many matches.
The Hares hitman bravely headed in a deep Liam Merryweather delivery to restore parity and that was the way it stayed until home player Dylan Edge hit the decisive goal in the second period.
Odain, Matt Barber and Lewis McManus were the March trio denied by desperate defending on the line as they tasted defeat for the first time since December 28.
And Bartlett is hoping for an instant return to winning ways when his players make the long trek to Woodbridge on Saturday afternoon.
It’s an important match for mid-table supremacy with the Suffolk side one place and three points above the Hares.
Bartlett added: “We can’t afford to dwell on the result at King’s Lynn.
“We’ve been in a much better place lately and the lads deserve plenty of credit for their attitude and approach.
“There is a lot of travelling for very little financial reward in this league and it would have been easy to let this season after a disappointing first few months.
“But they are all as desperate as I am to finish in the top six and we’re one of about a dozen teams who could achieve that.”
Bartlett is keen to draft another attacking player into his thin squad and is scouring the local scene for a suitable addition.