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Bradford Park Avenue: John Deacey fumes at inconsistent refs
Bradford Park Avenue boss John Deacey was livid with the referee’s decision not to send off Wayne Brooksby of Guiseley in the New Year’s Day derby at Horsfall Stadium.
Midway through the first half, with the game still goalless, Brooksby followed a ball into Avenue’s area but it went out of play for a goalkick as a defender came in to challenge. The referee signalled and turned away, unsuspecting a flare-up.
The central characters were Brooksby and young Avenue defender Jordan Snodin – the son of Ian, who is on loan from Leeds United. The fracas escalated momentarily but the match officials acted swiftly and senior players from both sides were just as quick to restore calm.
The players looked around nervously and the supporters who had witnessed the incident seemed convinced at least one of the players would get his marching orders. The referee took counsel from both his assistants before laying down the law to the two men.
He then flashed yellow cards at both of them, which even some seasoned ex-pros working for various media outlets felt was very lenient.
Deacey raged: “How can their player not get sent off for what he did? Most people get sent off for throwing one punch but he threw two and stayed on the pitch!
“I’m not blaming the player because things happen in the heat of the moment and I don’t want either club to get in trouble. All I want is some consistency from the officials because we had five players out through suspension that day.
“We have been getting punished for every little challenge and misdemeanour and have picked up cards like confetti. Then someone does that and they get off lightly.
“Our player has reacted to something that can be described as extreme provocation and he gets the same as the player who caused it. That can’t be right.”
Deacey highlighted the incident in his post-match press interview but also admitted that his team had lost the game 3-1 because of their failure to defend two free-kicks properly.
He felt his goalkeeper John Lamb, who was playing only his third game after coming back in emergency circumstances after Avenue number one Tim Deasy suffered knee ligament damage, could have done better.
The last line of defence held up his hands, saying: “I should have stayed retired. Last season I would have had both of those free-kicks.”