Controversial refereeing decisions costly for Bartestree in Wem defeat

MANAGER Dave Cadwallader felt promotion-chasing Bartestree paid the penalty for controversial refereeing decisions in an incident-packed defeat.

Cadwallader said he could not complain about Marc Avery’s late dismissal but was aggrieved with other decisions which, he said, did not go in the villagers’ favour.

He thought Wem should have been reduced to 10-men early on when Tom Parry’s goal-bound effort was handled on the line.

“The handball decision was disappointing, their lad would have been sent off and you never know what might have happened after that,” said Cadwallader.

“You just hope that big decisions like that don’t cost you at the end of the season.

“If we end up missing out on promotion by a narrow margin then you might look back at this game. But a referee has to make the decisions so you have to go accept them."

The handball decision which incensed Cadwallader occurred in the first half of Saturday's West Midlands League Division One match.

Parry rounded the Wem goalkeeper and fired in a powerful shot which seemed to be blocked on the line by an arm of a Wem defender.

Second-placed Bartestree fell behind soon afterwards and, before the end, their 10 men were indebted to goalkeeper Jon Hopkins who made a brilliant penalty save.

But Bartestree produced a below-par display and the disappointment etched on the players' faces at the final whistle told the full story.

It was Bartestree’s first loss since mid-September and only their third reverse this season.

The villagers will be hoping to get back on track at sixth-placed Wyrley this Saturday before hosting basement boys Wolverhampton United on December 28.

Bartestree captain Daniel Hill said: "I don’t know how the referee or the linesman missed our penalty shout. We carried on, tried to not let it affect us.

"We stopped trying to play our normal game in a physical match and picked up some bookings and a red card.”

Wem took the lead on the half -hour mark in blustery conditions when Matty Cohen rose at a corner to head home through a crowded penalty area.

Bartestree responded well and their best 10-minute spell of the game was rewarded with a leveller.

The dangerous Scott Turner stabbed the ball into the net off a post to send the sides into the half-time break level.

The second half played was just as hard-fought and the fourth-placed visitors regained the lead with a header from a corner.

Andy Smith rose highest to head the ball into the net to put Wem ahead.

Just a minute later, it looked to be all over for Bartestree when Avery brought down a Wem player in the box and the referee pointed to the penalty-spot.

However, Hopkins pulled off a fantastic save low down to his left to keep his team in the contest.

Bartestree's hopes of a fight-back soon evaporated when Avery received his marching orders for two yellow cards in the space of five minutes.

Cadwallader said: “The sending off had been coming, I think. I had no complaints about it. It was just a case of which player was going to be sent off it and it happened to be Marc.”

Bartestree’s assistant manager Adriano Girolami thinks the players will bounce back from the setback.

“The players are up for it and we’ve just got to keep going now," he said.

"It would be a shame to get this close to promotion and, for a few poor performances, to put paid to all the hard work the boys have put in so far this season."


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