We were robbed, says Ward
Flanagan's Onions 1 Somerset Eagles 1
Mick Ward, the Flanagan's Onions coach, was left fuming after Keston Lewis had a goal disallowed in their draw at home to fellow strugglers Somerset Eagles yesterday.
Lewis's 80th-minute strike was ruled out for a foul on Lorenzo Lambert, the Eagles goalkeeper, by referee Anthony Bailey, whose questionable decision denied Onions two precious points in their relegation fight.
“We're a bit astonished about what was given to be honest,” Ward said. “Keston touched the ball before the keeper and I think it's a travesty. I think our boys have been robbed.
“We know it was a goal, they know it was a goal, but one man decided it wasn't.”
Onions remain in the relegation zone, two points behind Eagles — one place above them — with three games to go. Onions have matches against Boulevard, Dandy Town and bottom club Devonshire Colts, while Eagles face top three PHC Zebras, Robin Hood and North Village.
“Eagles should be in the relegation zone after today and I'm gobsmacked” Ward added. “We can't be relying on PHC, Village and Hood to pick up points off them. We've still got to do our job, but we should be in a better position than we are.”
Eagles took the lead in the seventh minute after a superb solo effort from winger Cardel Henry, who beat two defenders before flicking the ball over Stephen Gould, the Onions goalkeeper, and slotting home.
Onions fought back on the stroke of half-time when forward Treshun Smith rounded goalkeeper Lambert after beating the offside trap.
The home side had the better of the chances in the second half and almost took the lead in comical fashion after a free kick from deep by Pete Robey somehow floated over the outstretched arms of Lambert and onto the post.
Lewis also forced Lambert to save with his feet, while defender Markez Laws headed wide from a Smith corner kick.
Lewis had the ball in the net when he was put through by substitute Paul Smith, with the Trinidadian lifting the ball over Lambert, who then collided with Lewis and an Eagles defender before receiving treatment.
Despite few, if any, protests from the Eagles players, the goal was disallowed for dangerous play.
Kanhai Fray had the best chance of the half for Eagles after catching the Onions defence napping but was denied by a smart save from Gould.
Roger Lee, the Eagles assistant coach, admits he was more than happy with a point.
“It's a good point away from home,” Lee said. “The battle at the bottom is still on.”
Lee said he missed the disallowed goal but was thankful the decision went his team's way.
“I didn't get a look at it myself,” Lee said. “I was filling in a substitutes' slip when it happened.”
Flanagan's Onions (4-4-2): S Gould — A Brookes, G Muir, C Berkeley (sub: D Thompson, 84min), M Laws — C Burns (sub: A Smith, 78), M Lindsey-Bailey (sub: P Smith, 75), P Robey, J Knight — K Lewis, T Smith. Substitute not used: M Ward.
Somerset Eagles (4-3-3): L Lambert — K Harrison, R Quinn, T Smith, D Simmons — L Burch, C Henry, M Iris-Simmons — D Riley-Clarke, K Fray, A Telford. Substitutes not used: K Evans, C Madeiros, J Santos.
Referee: A Bailey.