A slight schism in fair play etiquette left Braintree Town manager Dan Cowley seething about ‘the worst thing he’d even seen on a football pitch’ in the aftermath of Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Guiseley AFC in the National League.
With Braintree leading 1-0 at the time, one of their players went down injured. After the restart, Guiseley midfielder Ollie Norburn attempted to return possession – as is the done thing – by hoofing the ball back to his opposing goalkeeper, Tom King.
However, Norton duly proceeded to overshoot his pass by a considerable margin, scoring an unintentional equaliser in the process. Skip to the 7:00 mark on the video above to bear witness.
Strangely, Guiseley chose not to follow protocol and allow Braintree to walk in an unobstructed goal to restore their lead amid claims that King has deliberately allowed Norton’s pass to sail over his head and in.
Things swiftly got a bit ugly at Nethermoor Park…
Security staff are on the pitch separating management and players.
— Guiseley AFC (@GuiseleyAFC) February 27, 2016
Guiseley boss Mark Bower explained the furore to BBC Radio Leeds:
The goalkeeper stood there with his arms in the air and allowed the ball to go in to the net.
It put us in a really difficult position whether we should allow them to score or not, but everyone around us was saying the keeper was trying to be clever and had let it go in.
It all kicked off and it was unpleasant and I’m sure it will attract some attention. It’s a very uncomfortable position to be in.
Not that any of it came as much consolation to his Braintree counterpart, with Cowley left to fume about the incident after the match.
“I’ve played and been involved in football since I was 5 years old. It’s the worst thing i’ve seen on a football pitch” – Danny Cowley
— BBC Essex Sport (@BBCEssexSport) February 27, 2016
It’s a distinct and perfectly avoidable cock-up, certainly, but the worst thing ever to happen on a football pitch? Has he not seen Edin Dzeko’s miss from the other night?
We’ll chalk that one up to heat-of-the-moment-itis.