Red card angers Magpies

Steve Barker’s dismissal leaves Magpies management duo fuming

COLNEY Heath’s captain Steve Barker looks set to miss the Premier Division Cup Final following his red card in Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat to Hillingdon Borough.

The Magpies were already 1-0 down when the moment of controversy occurred and managers Scott Lacey and Wes Awad were left fuming by the officials’ decision.

Hillingdon managed to work the ball in behind the Heath defence for their attacker who was a good two yards offside. He stopped expecting to be flagged offside but continued when no such decision was made and when he clattered into the retreating Barker on the edge of the box the referee dished out a straight red card to the Magpies’ captain. To make matters worse the official also awarded a penalty adding to Colney Heath’s anger.

“He (the linesman) couldn’t tell us who played him on,” explained boss Lacey.

“Steve Barker, who has been awesome for us this year, will now miss the Cup Final and that lino not doing his job has lost us the game and cost us our captain for an important game.”

The Magpies have no chance of overturning the decision due to the Spartan South Midlands league’s ruling that clubs can only appeal if they have video evidence.

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Despite the controversy Lacey said he could have no qualms with the result and says Hillingdon were full value for their win.

He said: “They were a very organised side and very strong and I thought they played well.”

The defeat came after Heath had come away from their trip to basement side Langford with all three points courtesy of a Paul Armstrong brace.

“Saturday was quite a difficult game because they are fighting for their lives,” explained Lacey.

“The pitches are hard and bobbly and you can’t strike the ball cleanly. Everyone expects Colney Heath to go there and win three or four nil but it’s not like that. It was a good three points and there is no easy game in this league.”

The Magpies have already exceeded their record points total for this level with five games to go and also have a Cup Final to look forward to and the club hasn’t given up hope of finishing second.

“It’s another year of improvement and we’ve already surpassed our record points tally at this level and there’s still five games to go,” said Lacey.

“We’ve still got 15 points to get in the league and we’ll do our best to get as many of those as possible. Tring and Royston will have to slip up for us to have a chance of runners-up but I’ll be disappointed if we don’t finish in the top three.”