Referee blamed for Weston battering

INJURY-hit Weston deserved at least a share of the Blue Square South points at newly-promoted Dover, but were the victims of some terribleĀ  refereeing decisions.

INJURY-hit Weston deserved at least a share of the Blue Square South points at newly-promoted Dover, but were the victims of some terrible refereeing decisions.

They were forced to go into the game without their two influential central defenders, Clayton Fortune and Craig Rand. Eric Labourieux took over one of the vacant positions alongside striker Marc McGregor, who had to be drafted in to the back four.

Dover's Shaun Welford spurned a chance after just two minutes but Weston then enjoyed a bright spell. Josh Llewellyn forced a corner after a long clearance by goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer and Llewellyn went wide from Jack Compton's flag kick.

They did better on 11 minutes when, in another attack, home keeper Lee Hook was forced to punch away Darren Mullings' cross only as far as Weston skipper Adi Harris, who headed back over the keeper from fully 30 yards to open the scoring.

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But the lead lasted just four minutes. McGregor seemed to fairly win a challenge on Welford, but referee Robert Hyde awarded a free kick to Dover on the edge of the Weston penalty area.

James Rogers brought the scores level, leaving Sawyer standing with the hotly disputed kick.

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Dover then took the lead on 19 minutes when Tom Davis flicked on Nicky Southall's corner for Lee Browning to score at the far post.

Weston should have been awarded a penalty on 32 minutes when man-of-the-match Ashan Holgate was sent sprawling. The appeals were turned down and two minutes later Dover struck again when McGregor's attempted clearance was knocked down and Sammy Moore had a clear run before beating Sawyer.

It got even worse on the stroke of half-time when Compton won a challenge on Welford, only for Mr Hyde to award a penalty, a decision which was greeted by silence by the large home crowd. Browning added his second from the spot to leave Weston in deep trouble.

But the visitors came out transformed in the second half. Josh Klein-Davis was brought on for Compton and Tom Paranello for Scott Bartlett and, straight from the restart, Llewellyn burst through from half way and beat Hook. Six minutes later Weston pulled another goal back when Marvin Brown set up Mullings.

However, Dover had the last word on 63 minutes when Walford burst through and, although Sawyer got a hand to the shot, he could not stop it going in.

A minute later, Mullings sent an effort just over after Hook mispunched Paranello's free kick before Brown also had a shot blocked by the keeper. At the other end, Walford fired wide with only Sawyer to beat and the Weston keeper brought off a superb save to deny Browning.

Speaking after the game, Weston boss Andy Gurney said: "We started the game fantastically and we were dominating until their first goal, which came from a free-kick that shouldn't have been given.

"It was a strange game and despite being 4-1 down at half-time, we thought we were in the game. But it's still disappointing to see some of the errors we are making and we'll need to sort those out.

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