March Town United boss condemns ‘rank, rotten officiating’ and says respect must work both ways

Paul Crosbie.

Paul Crosbie. - Credit: Archant

FURIOUS boss Paul Crosbie condemned “rank, rotten officiating” after watching his nine-man March Town United side get pasted 6-1 by Brightlingsea Regent.

Paul Crosbie.

Paul Crosbie. - Credit: Archant

The Scot spoke out after Saturday’s Thurlow Nunn Division One clash at the GER - insisting that the “Respect” campaign must apply to players and fans as well as officials.

March Town United vs Brightlingsea Regent. Picture: Steve Williams.

March Town United vs Brightlingsea Regent. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

“Respect is important for referees and they should always feel safe,” said Crosbie. “But there must be respect for players and paying spectators too.”

March Town United vs Brightlingsea Regent. Picture: Steve Williams.

March Town United vs Brightlingsea Regent. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Crosbie was infuriated after his captain Max Mattless was sent off for an alleged stamp in the second minute of Saturday’s fixture.

Toby Ogbonna hit back after the Hares had gone 2-0 down, but Crosbie was incensed again when Brightlingsea scored a controversial third from a corner.


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He said: “Their centre-half went through the back of Lewis Thompson with elbows and all sorts, leaving him requiring treatment. We were expecting a free-kick and they scored.

“The ref was challenged about why it wasn’t a foul and he said it probably was... but it’s a goal now. I lost my composure at that point and had a real go. I should have been sent off.”

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Before Thompson could return from getting treatment on the sidelines, March were down to nine. Jake Ogden, who felt he had been elbowed, was shown his second yellow card for a “robust challenge”.

Crosbie, who is a qualified referee and a former technical director of the Turks and Caicos Islands, said it was an “awful” performance by the officials.

“The crowning glory came in the second half when Brightlingsea had a throw-in,” he said. “They took it and the ref awarded offside. You can’t be offside from a throw-in.

“It was in our favour and I was still annoyed. It was rank, rotten officiating.

“I know it’s a hard job. I’ve refereed a game in the Caribbean which I had to abandon because it turned into a 22-man brawl - but Saturday was basic stuff.”

March will be without Scott Welcher and long-term absentees Luke Pepper and Sam Darlow when they host Team Bury tomorrow.

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