‘I will not walk out on Wisbech Town’ - Appleby to stay despite referee frustration

EXASPERATED Wisbech Town boss Steve Appleby has revealed that poor refereeing pushed him to the brink of quitting football - but insisted he would not “walk out” on the Fenmen.

The 44-year-old, who will celebrate two years in charge of Wisbech next month, has become increasingly frustrated with what he says is a lack of “common sense” refereeing in the Ridgeons League.

But Appleby, who had three spells with the Fenmen during his playing career, said he still has “things to achieve” at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium and would not leave before the end of the season.

“I think the standard of refereeing is the lowest it’s ever been,” he said. “My opinion is that they’re not allowed to referee with common sense.

“If I got the fixture list out, I could literally name 10 games where we’ve had shocking decisions go against us.

“A lot of the games this year haven’t been decided by footballing ability, they’ve been decided by poor decisions.

“I’ve always said that if I ever got to the point where I stopped enjoying it, then I would consider my future in the game.

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“I’ve thought about it and, to be honest, I’m still thinking about it but I will not make a rash decision. I will not walk out on Wisbech.

“I loved playing for them and I find it an honour to manage them.”

Appleby, who was sent to the stands during a miserable 3-1 defeat to Ely City on Boxing Day, said referees should not apply the strict standards of the Premier League to non-league football.

He said: “Players at this level are at this level for a reason. They are not Premier League players. They make mistakes but they are genuine and honest.

“They could make two honest challenges and a referee could give them two yellow cards. There should be some leeway. Do not apply Premiership standards to Ridgeons League football.

“I’m old school and I’d sooner just get on with it. You feel like you’re moaning and whinging all the time, but really all you’re doing is telling the truth.”

Midfielder Sam Murphy is suspended for Wisbech’s Ridgeons Premier Division trip to Kirkley & Pakefield tomorrow.

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