THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Hadleigh United 1
Kirkley & Pakefield 2
by Russell Claydon
at The Millfield
Hadleigh United goalkeeper Sam Mansfield said it felt like they had been robbed of a result on Saturday as Kirkley & Pakefield celebrated an injury-time winner with the assistant referee’s flag being overlooked.
The Brettsiders, who had been looking to impress soon-to-be new manager Shane Wardley, went ahead very much against the run of play in the 22nd minute through Jack Lambert’s free header before the referee put Kirkley’s wayward finishers out of their misery 10 minutes before the break by awarding them a soft-looking penalty that Liam Harvey-Cooper despatched.
But the official became the centre of a storm late on, prompting Wardley and Hadleigh’s players to remonstrate with him following the final whistle.
Kyle Baker’s 30-yard speculative effort came past a waiting striker who the assistant flagged offside, wrong-footed an otherwise excellent goalkeeper Mansfield and was allowed to stand.
Former Long Melford goalkeeper Mansfield, who pulled off a superb double save in the first half, said: “He went to flick the ball past me, which is why I went down to make the save. If he is not there, I just pick the ball up.
“It is bitterly disappointing.”
Following what was a third straight defeat, he added: “They did have a lot of chances but we kept those chances out.
“We defended well for long periods and ultimately deserved to come away with a point.”
Hadleigh: Mansfield, Golding, Ross, Barwick, Benee (Lewis 65), Artiss (c), Andrews, Lambert, Veitch, Crisp, Gilvray (Sharp 84). Unused subs: Lawrence, Bull, Dennington.
Attendance: 86 Free Press Man of The Match: Sam Mansfield