By Alan Duffy
Photo courtesy of Bashley FC
Right down at the other, less glamorous, end of the game, away from the Neymars, Messis and er, Milners, comes a story of injustice courtesy of non-league Bashley.
The Hampshire club have written to the Football Association demanding a replay of their FA CUp first round clash with Gosport Borough after referee Ian Bull missed a clear goal for Bashley which would have given them a 3-2 lead late on in the game. Instead, the official awarded a corner and ultimately, Gosport were victorious courtesy of 3-2 win after extra-time.
The phantom goal was scored by James Stokoe, but when the Gosport ‘keeper then kicked the ball away through the side netting, the officials presumed he had cleared the ball for a corner.
Bashley vice-chariman, Tim Titheridge, is understandably unhappy, believing that the error cost his side a cool £10,000. He said:
“We feel cheated. We don’t blame the referee for not seeing it, but we do blame the Gosport players for not owning up. We have also written to Gosport asking them to write to the FA, but we do not expect anything to happen.”
“A number of Gosport players, management staff, supporters and officials admitted that a goal should have been given, expressed sympathy and some even apologised to members of our club.”
A thoroughly unsatisfactory situation indeed. However, start having replays over things like this and who knows where it will end. Although I guess Arsenal did replay that game with Sheffield United after Marc Overmars’ goal in 1999, didn’t they?