Staines Town 1 AFC Wimbledon 2
FURIOUS Steve Cordery blasted hapless referee Matthew McLaughlin as his Staines Town side just missed out on promotion to the Blue Square South on Saturday.
After sitting with his play-ers in a silent dressing room while AFC Wimbledon were presented with the Ryman Premier Play-Off trophy after their 2-1 win, Cordery emerged half-an-hour later still enraged.
He said: "I can hardly speak, I am so furious. All I know is we were robbed by a referee who was inadequate for the game.
"My keeper had the ball, and the bloke made a back for him and made him drop it.
"That's a foul in anyone's book. Even the Wimbledon bench said 'that's a foul'. But it seems he was the only man in the ground not to see it.
"We deserved to win this game. We were clearly the better team, and although we were tiring towards the end, I could not see them scoring until the referee interfered."
Swans were just eight minutes away from victory, thanks to a Matt Flitter strike, when they had the prize ripped out of their hands. Or, to be more exact, the hands of goalkeeper James Courtnage.
He had a full grasp on the ball when AFC's Jon Main made him tumble to the ground, losing his grip. Main reacted quickly to stab the ball for Luis Cumbers to head inside the near post.
Everyone waited for a foul to be given, but instead McLaughlin signalled a goal. Cue uproar, with Courtnage, who had already been booked, being dragged forcibly away from the official to prevent him being sent off.
Staines hardly had time to recover their composure before McLaughlin intervened again, awarding a hotly disputed free kick to AFC.
He then ordered the kick to be re-taken when he first effort was blocked, and this time sub Mark de Bolla arrowed it home and there was no way back for Staines.