What can anyone do about referees who get decisions wrong and cost Salford City precious points? Well, we can call them `clowns'…we can shout `1-0 to the referee'…we can say their performances are `lamentable'…and we can call them `clowns' again…and again…and again…and again…and again…`clowns'…`clowns'…`clowns'…`clowns'…`clowns'…
…Oh just one more…`Clowns!'
Today, after the NewYear Trafford free kick debacle, it was Cammell Laird's turn in the circus ring, getting awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time when one of their attackers collapsed in the area under a slight shoulder charge. Even the Cammell fans were laughing, while Salford City manager, Darren Sheridan, was furious, continuing the `debate' with the ref as he left the field at half time.
Up until this point, the game was perfectly poised, Salford stringing some nice moves together without troubling the Cammell keeper, and the Cammells stringing nothing together but wayward shots from outside the area which troubled someone's garden conservatory about 30ft behind the goal. The converted penalty swung the game in the Cammell's favour. HT 1-0.
Fired up Salford completely dominated the first period of the second half, Danny Heffernan and Jamie Rother going close with shots just past the post, and Andy Heald just failing to direct a header into the net from a corner.
The pressure eventually told on the Cammells, whose No 8 produced a wild challenge on Chris Thompson to get himself sent off. In the melee that followed, the ref and his assistants also missed a blatant head butt by Cammell's No 5 on Andy Heald (as our photo shows).
Salford soon equalised with Osebi Abadaki teasing defenders before unleashing a shot that the keeper couldn't hold. Danny Heffernan was onto it like lightning, smashing home to make it 1-1.
A few minutes later Abadaki, put through by a deft flick from Heffernan, was a whisker away from making it 2-1 but his shot flashed past the post. That miss was to prove costly as the Cammells galloped away shortly after and, following slack marking in the Salford defence, took the lead with their first shot on target. 2-1.
Salford didn't deserve to be behind and some forceful attacking followed, culminating in the equaliser by Danny Heffernan, who flashed a shot from inside the area past the keeper. 2-2.
The Cammells looked to be content with the draw, wasting time at every opportunity, but one last attack saw more slack Salford defending, as their winger was allowed too much time and space to cross for the unmarked centre forward to head home the winner. 3-2.
On the day, Salford were way the better team but Cammell's victory was set up by poor refereeing yet again. `Lamentable'. `Clown'.
Photos by Andrew Goudie