Referee's display leaves Ebbsfleet boss far from impressed

News Shopper: Steve Brown. Picture by Keith Gillard. Steve Brown. Picture by Keith Gillard.

Ebbsfleet United manager Steve Brown was critical of the referee’s performance in his side’s 1-1 draw at Whitehawk on Saturday.

The Fleet took the lead early on thanks to Yado Mambo’s fifth minute header.

But after having a goal ruled out and two penalty appeals turned down, they were pegged back by the hosts thanks to Danny Mills’ 52nd minute equaliser.

The referee’s display was a source of contention for Bown afterwards, although he did admit his side should have killed the game off themselves.

He said: “When we took the lead after five minutes, I thought we’d go on to get a second and a third but we just didn’t.

“The performance was a little flat and obviously Whitehawk came back into the game in the second half and scored with a decent set piece.

“We’ve had a lot go against us today in regards to refereeing decisions.

“It was probably one of the poorest refereeing performances of the season by some distance and he’s missed two absolutely stonewall penalties for us, which would undoubtedly have put a different complexion on the game.

“From our perspective, I couldn’t see a lot wrong with the disallowed goal.

“It was a very similar corner to our goal itself, as Yado Mambo won the ball at the far post and he nodded it back to Billy Bricknell, who had great control with his chest and overhead kicked it into the goal.”

Brown added: “I couldn’t see any infringements, but a referee will always convince you that what he saw was correct.

“I’m sure if you spoke to Whitehawk manager Steve King he’d tell you there was a definite push on one of his players, but I couldn’t see it.

“It was a very soft decision from the referee.”

Although the result represented two points dropped, Brown was still able to find positives in the fact Mambo played his first 90 minutes since re-signing for the club, as well as the return from injury of defender Shane Huke.

The Fleet chief explained: “Despite the negatives of the 1-1 draw, and the fact we should have had two penalties ignored, the positives are that Yado Mambo has got through 90 minutes without any repercussions to his injury.

“Shane Huke has come on with 20 minutes to go and got through that with no ill-effects, so we’ve had two players come into the team that have performed well with no setbacks.

“I’ve always maintained it’s a squad game and that they’ll all get used across the season and we’ve lost Michael West and Osei Sankofa to injury today.

“As you can see, you come out the end of one game I’ve got four injuries and three of those are centre halves, so everyone will get used - the games are coming thick and fast.”

He added: “We’re undefeated in eight league games, with five wins and three draws.

“We dropped two points at Bath the other day and everyone thought we were out of it, but after a couple of wins we were back in the race.

“There’s still 10 games to go, so 30 points to play for, and every team at the top has a relatively tough run in.

“Nobody has got it easy, so points will be dropped by everybody between now and the end of the season.

“It’s just if we can drop less than the others. It’s getting tight, but we’re undefeated and are in good spirits and good form.”

Brown also revealed defender Anthony Acheampong had sustained a hamstring injury in last Tuesday’s victory away to Tonbridge Angels, so sat out the Whitehawk draw as a precautionary measure.

The Fleet travel to Havant & Waterlooville tonight (Monday) before visiting play-off rivals Boreham Wood on Saturday.

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