Weston-super-Mare manager Northmore left ‘sickened’ by defeat

Weston AFC v Concord.

Weston AFC v Concord. - Credit: Archant

A DISPUTED penalty and red card left a ‘sickening’ taste in the mouth of Weston manager Ryan Northmore as the Seagulls fell to their 11th league defeat of the season at Gosport on Saturday.

In truth, Weston had deserved more from their trip to the south coast but could not turn their first-half domination into goalmouth opportunities.

The game looked to be heading for a stalemate before Jacob Cane was bewilderingly penalised for a perceived handball by referee Paul Kelly, who awarded the hosts a penalty which was gleefully by returning top-scorer Justin Bennett.

Northmore was left incensed again as Weston striker Tristan Plummer was sent off in the dying minutes for an off-the-ball incident and he said they would look to appeal.

The visitors began the game the stronger and went close after 25 minutes when Exeter loanee Alex Byrne’s swerving shot was tipped over by Nathan Ashmore in the home goal.

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They had the better of the play before the break but were unable to breach a resolute Boro defence, before the hosts began to enter the game in the second half and George Barker crashed a 20-yard free kick against the post well after the restart.

A minute later, Cane attempted to chest the ball down from Rory Williams’ routine cross, but referee Kelly was the only man on the field to spot an infringement, and pointed to the spot despite protests from the Weston players.

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There was no empathy from Gosport striker Justin Bennett, returning to the side after injury, and he slotted home his 14th league goal of the season from the spot for an underserved lead.

Weston pressed forward in search of an equaliser but again the home defence stood firm, before Plummer was shown a red card for what Northmore described as a ‘playful clip’ after he and a Gosport defender he had been in conversation with.

Northmore told the Mercury: “You have two players walking along and exchanging words, and in a friendly, bantering type of way Tristan has playfully clipped him round the back of the ear. Both carried on walking.

“The linesman has then flagged and Tristan’s been sent off – it’s a case of getting completely the wrong end of what happened. There was no rolling around or anything because it wasn’t that kind of incident. It was a difficult thing to have to take.

“The video doesn’t catch the incident but it will be something we will look to appeal if we can, it depends whether the other player is prepared to get involved.”

Northmore said he was happy with his team’s performance before the referee’s intervention, having looked capable of netting a third away win from four for large parts of the game.

He said: “We had limited Gosport to a couple of shots before the referee has invented a penalty and the linesman has invented a sending off. It’s sickening, really. Both sets of players played on after the supposed handball. We’ve seen it back on the video and the ball definitely hasn’t struck Jacob’s hand.”

* ON SATURDAY, Weston are back in league action as they face St Albans City for the third time this season, with kick-off at the Woodspring Stadium at 3pm. On Tuesday night, they are again in home action, hosting Havant and Water-looville at 7.45pm.

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