Lightbourne refuses to criticise Cup referee
Kyle Lightbourne believes Robin Hood's players can hold their heads high despite crashing out of the FA Cup semi-finals against Dandy Town 1-0 at the Wellington Oval at the weekend.
The match was settled by a Treadwell Gibbons Jr penalty, although there were key decisions that did not go Robin Hood's way, including penalty claims either side of half-time.
Hood also had Alex Martin and Shane Dietz sent off in stoppage time after a late penalty claim was turned down by Lyndon Raynor, the referee. Rather than criticise Raynor's decision-making, Lightbourne said that the calls could have gone either way.
“Although the match ended as it did, we can still hold our heads high and be proud of the commitment we showed,” Lightbourne said. “One of the penalty appeals was for a handball by [Brandon] Minors, the Town captain, although it could have gone either way and the referee didn't think it was a penalty.
“The second one was when Gary [Adams] was pulled down in the area, which we thought was a clear penalty. It is up to the referee and he didn't give them, so we had to get on with the match.
“The other moment we thought we had a penalty claim was when Shaun [Brown] was fouled in the box in the dying stages. Had he gone down I truly believe the referee would have blown, but he stayed up. Shaun isn't a diver, so I have to credit him with that.”
Despite the defeat, Lightbourne was proud with how his team frustrated the Premier Division leaders.
“We knew it would be a difficult match and that they would have majority of the possession, but we gave a good showing of ourselves and I'm proud of the boys,” said Lightbourne, whose side won the First Division.
“Our game plan was to stifle them and to get them frustrated and for the most part we did that. They had two good chances early on, but after that we came into the game and they lost their way a little bit.”
North Village beat defending champions Devonshire Cougars 1-0 in Sunday's other FA Cup semi-final. Village take on Town in the final at the National Sports Centre on Sunday, April 6.