‘Embarassing’ decision a ‘bit hard to take’ for St Albans City skipper

PUBLISHED: 13:05 10 November 2016

Lee Chappell sends a ball forward. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Lee Chappell sends a ball forward. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Robert Walkley

A philosophical Lee Chappell felt that St Albans City’s FA Cup game against Carlisle United turned on one decision towards the end of the first half – calling it “nigh-on embarassing”.

With the scores level at 1-1, United centre-half Michael Raynes brought down Junior Morias for a second time.

And having already been booked, and referee Simon Hooper reaching for his pocket, it seemed his fate was sealed.

However, the man in charge relented and chose a very long and stern lecture instead.

Carlisle manager Keith Curle didn’t need a second bite to accept the reprieve and substituted Raynes two minutes later.

And City’s skipper was left lamenting that series of events.

He said: “The first-half decision to not send off the centre half was nigh-on embarrassing but what can you do. He’s refereed in the Premier League.

“As the captain I tried to talk to him but sometimes when you see his hand go to his pocket, then realise he’s already booked him and come away again, it’s a bit hard to take.

“But it is what it is. Carlisle were brilliant on the day and weathered our storm at times.”

Chappell also felt the difference in fitness, between the semi-pro and professional outfits, was a key component in Carlisle’s victory.

City were still level with 20 minutes to go but three goals in the next 13 minutes put the game beyond City.

“We gave it our all,” said Chappell. “Our three goals were all top quality and my opinion was their goals were all a tad sloppy.

“I think it summed up the fitness. When we got tired it made it easier for them to see gaps that we tried hard to snuff out in the first half.

“The plan was to defend the hill and then come out in the second half and give it a go. But in the end the two central midfielders didn’t stop and they were able to dictate play.

“The three goals we scored, you would do well to see them at the League Two level.

“We gave them a game. It was a lot closer than I think some expected and it was entertaining.

“We’re disappointed but we’re also realistic. Credit to Carlisle; they were professional but in the FA Cup there’s always something that can go wrong for the higher team and it did.

“When we got tired, they dictated play a bit and we had a mad 10 minutes where we conceded three.

“It takes the gloss off the result but the better team over 90 minutes probably won on the day and you have to respect that.”

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