Lino’s flag for second Merstham goal, card-fest and spots of bother for us
The assistant referee flagged for a foul by Ollie Sprague, who slid in to try to stop the marauding Merstham man, but missed him. As Merstham celebrated their goal, Ollie saw yellow.
The match saw 18 fouls awarded and 10 players cautioned, although three (Ollie and two Moatsiders) were carded after the referee played an advantage.
The penalty may have looked soft, but I am happy that the referee got it right and the people behind the goal all felt Leon had been tripped. The only protest from Gonsalves, the player who fouled him, came when he saw the referee’s red card come out of his pocket. “You’re not sending me off for that,” was his comment (the yellow, knowing it was going to get more air time than a publicity-hungry D-lister, was hiding underneath it).
I thought we had three even better penalty claims, none of which were given: when Leon was denied by the goalkeeper in the first 10 minutes, he was barged in the back just after he had shot; when Aaron, coming into the box down the inside right channel, was almost wrestled to the ground midway through the second half; then, in the final few minutes, Kezie was dragged off the ball, after tussling with the defender for 15 yards. How he was penalised, I do not know. If nothing else, it was clearly obstruction, because the defender was not in playing distance of the ball and his run blocked off Kezie’s run towards the ball.