FA Trophy: Gray blasts officials after Cambs loss

James Gray

James Gray - Credit: Archant

City’s joint manager James Gray slated the officials after Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Cambridge United in the FA Trophy.

The Saints had Ben Martin and Chris Henry sent off in injury-time either side of Aaron Pierre’s controversial 94th minute winner. Gray complained that the corner which Pierre scored from should never had been given and called the officials an “embarrassment.”

“I’ll go on record and say [the officials] were pathetic,” he said in his post-match interview.

“Some of the decisions were an embarrassment; all you have to do is shout at the linesman to get a decision, it was a free for all.

“In the morning we spoke about needing a strong official today. Unless something drastically changes and [the FA] bring in people who have played the game then they’re never going to get decisions right.”

He added: “It was never a corner. They’ve scored a great goal but how can the referee to give a corner when he wasn’t sure it was a corner?”

“It wasn’t a red for Chris, either. They haven’t complained [after the foul] and he didn’t need to send him off. The referee has lost it a bit there; we need stronger officials than that.”

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Despite admitting his disappointment, Gray praised his players for holding their own against the Conference Premier Division leaders.

“We can be proud of what we’ve done today against the Conference leaders but the overall feeling is I’m down and dejected,” he said.

“They should be beating a side like us but they’ve had to work until the last minute to get it. We held our own and if I could get our boys in full-time we would have beaten them.

“They’re not a great side - they might think they are but they were not that much better than us in the first half, and we started slowly. We took the game to them in the second half, the penalty gave us a lift and we nearly got the win.

“The replay would have killed us with the fixture backlog in the league, and it could have been a pointless exercise if we went and got beaten, but I wish we could have held out, gone up there and showed them what we can do.”