Heath slams ref as Alfreton lose again

Billy Heath.
Billy Heath.

Furious Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath slammed man in the middle Benjamin Speedie for ‘probably the worst refereeing display I’ve witnessed’ in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Chester.

The Reds, who had lost their four previous National League North games, had come from behind to lead, but they were shot down as referee Speedie showed a red card to James Clifton and then, in the fifth added minute, awarded Chester their second contentious penalty of the game as they stole a late victory.

Heath seethed: “Things have transpired against us today - you had to be here to believe it.

“In my 18 years of management that is probably the worst refereeing display I’ve witnessed.

“There was the sending off, a penalty at the start of the game and a penalty at the end - it was beyond belief.

“He couldn’t wait to give that first penalty and at the end he (Josh Gowling) had won the ball cleanly. It was never a penalty.

“I couldn’t criticise the players, but we’ve had two penalties awarded against us away from home that are just bizarre

He added: “Clifton’s sending-off was also bizarre - the ball just spun off him on the edge of the area and it was just an honest challenge.

“To give a red was just beyond belief - it was just bizarre.

“I’m lost for words - the penalty in the last minute just summed up the referee’s performance - he’s won the ball as clean as a whistle.”

Asked about the debut performance of Reece Styche, Heath said: “l thought he was excellent.

“His finish was quality It was difficult for him when we went down to 10 men - he had to feed off scraps.

“But he causes problems and asks questions. It’s just unfortunate that we had to play with 10 men for almost 70 minutes.”