Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Players bemused as referee abandons Town’s cup tie

HENLEY TOWN’S clash with Saint Peters Ivers in the quarter-final of the Maidenhead Norfolkian Reserve Cup on Saturday was abandoned with 10 minutes left to play.

The referee had booked Henley’s Jacob Kasaska for dissent shortly before gathering the match ball when it next went out of play and walking from the pitch.

At this stage the Red Kites were 3-1 down but were having the better of the possession and were pressing the visiting defence.

Following an even start, Henley fell behind after 20 minutes when goalkeeper Shaun Vickers parried a hopeful long shot into his own net while under no pressure.

Sensing a weak point, Ivers peppered Henley’s goal with long balls in the hope that they could double their lead.

The visitors then launched a free-kick into the area and Henley failed to clear the ball and it was left to a forward to scramble it into the net to make it 2-0.

At a stage when the Red Kites looked to be dead and buried, Rowan Stacey burst down the left-hand side of the pitch and into the Ivers area, only to be brought down as he sped past a defender. Liam Painter stepped up to fire the spot kick home to reduce the arrears.

This buoyed the Red Kites but then the visitors extended their lead shortly before half time with another scrappy goal. Henley failed to clear another cross and the ball was knocked down to a striker who scored.

Following some harsh words at the break from Henley’s coach, Stacey looked to have got Henley back into the game when he was again fouled by a defender once he beat him for pace.

The referee awarded a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box when the Henley players felt a penalty should have been awarded. Henley then had a goal disallowed for offside when Nathan Horder had the ball in the net.

Kasaska was then introduced to the field and he made an instant impact. Having received the ball, he ran through the defence and around the on-rushing goalkeeper, who brought him down, but no penalty was awarded, and play went on.

Kasaska was brought down again on the halfway line, and he waited until the ball next went out of play before he remonstrated with the referee on the decision not to award a foul and was booked for dissent.

Shortly afterwards, when the ball went out for a Henley corner, the referee retrieved the ball and abandoned the game.

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