Hadleigh United discipline issues mount up after Stowmarket Town dismantle defences with 3-0 away defeat
Christian Appleford was highly critical of the officiating which he saw as responsible for Hadleigh United’s 3-0 defeat away to Stowmarket Town on Tuesday night in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division as the side’s discipline issues mount up.
The Brettsiders were looking to follow-up on their 6-2 home win over Step 6’s Stotfold in the first round qualifying of the Buildvase FA Vase, which itself had been a winning follow-up to their 6-2 dismantling of Haverhill Rovers the week earlier.
On Saturday, both Kyle Cassell and Kye Ruel netted braces, while Joel Glover and Sam Sharp also scored.
They had been looking for back-to-back wins on Tuesday, but were instead treated to back-to-back red cards, with Charles Howlett sent off on Saturday for two yellows while Matt Paine was shown a straight red on Tuesday for fighting.
Kieran Turner was also sin binned, for the second time this season, as he conceded a penalty; Hadleigh’s recent disciplinary record has returned four red cards and four sin-bins from their last five matches in all competitions.
But Appleford said: “He (Paine) got hit on the way down and yet one player (Christy Finch) got a yellow and one got a red, I just can’t understand.
“We were in the game until the referee took over and just absolutely killed it. Some of the decisions are just not acceptable and I’m angry and disappointed.
“People will look at the scoreline and think ‘that’s what was expected’ but, if you were here, you’d think it’s not a fair reflection of the game.
“We’ve defended really well, we were hard to break down and they were actually a bit clueless at times, they couldn’t wear us down and we were then a threat on the counter.”
Hadleigh had the best chance of the first half, with Turner missing an open goal in the 23rd minute. Although not the easiest to deal with, he missed a golden chance as Stow keeper James Bradbrook ran out of the area to challenge Turner to leave the open goal.
It proved to be the visitors best chance of the game, with the deadlock remaining until the 61st minute when Stowmarket captain Ollie Brown scored by chipping the ball over Nick Punter in goal.
The game suddenly came alive following Jack Ainsley being shown the first yellow of the match in the 78th minute. Drama soon followed with a penalty just a minute later, with Turner’s objections seeing him sent to the naughty corner for 10 minutes.
Ainsley converted before a Paine tackle on Finch descended into ugly scenes, punches and scuffles breaking out before Paine was sent off and Finch yellow carded.
Brown then smacked the post in the 90th minute before Finch then netted in the first minute of added time to add insult to injury for Hadleigh.
They next travel to pointless Gorleston on Saturday (3pm), looking to get back on track. Appleford said: “They haven’t won a point this season and, in some ways, that makes them one of the toughest teams we could face next.
“They’ve made changes and it’s an away game so we know it won’t be easy, but if we can apply ourselves in the way we have in the last few weeks, we are capable.
“We’ve only played six league games so far this season and we’ve played the team that will probably win it twice, so we’re not too worried.
“Our season and our league position won’t be influenced by our result against Stowmarket, but it could be by teams like Gorleston.”
Hadleigh: Punter, Ferguson, Ross, Paine, Rose (c), De’ath, Smy, Barwick, Glover, Turner (sent off 81’), Hayes.
* For more pictures, visit our photo sales site on: photos.iliffemedia.co.uk
More by this authorHannah Dolman