'Give us a break'
BRAINTREE Town manager Alan Devonshire has hit out at match referees who he feels always give the big clubs in the Blue Square Bet Premier questionable decisions in their favour when his side is playing against them.
"It happened to us last year in our first season and now it's happening again so whenever we go to an ex-Football League ground little clubs like ourselves lose out," he explained.
Devonshire was incensed that at their first big club away game on Saturday at Macclesfield, relegated from the npower League Two in May, the referee Ben gave a penalty when it was clear that the ball into the box had hit full-back Ryan Peters in the stomach and his hands were down by his side.
"The match video shows it clearly wasn't a penalty but he gives them one and they score the winning goal from the spot kick," he said.
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"Even their manager (Steve King) admitted it wasn't a penalty
"I wish the referee would come out afterwards and say that he's got a decision wrong because at least I and my players can accept," he continued.
Devonshire said referee Toner refused to discuss the penalty incident with him after the game which again showed a lack of concern at talking to club managers to help improve the game overall.
The Iron go to another former Football League club on Saturday when they visit the One Call Stadium to take on Mansfield.
"Will it be any different this Saturday to being at Macclesfield? I'm not holding my breath," he added.
Of more immediate concern is whether his skipper Kenny Davis will have recovered from a shin injury which kept him out of the Macclesfield game and also his England C game against Belgium on Tuesday.
"I'm hopeful he will be back and also Brad Quinton and Adam Bailey-Dennis who had to both miss Monday's friendly with West Ham because of injury," said Devonshire. "Otherwise we should have a full squad available.
Saturday will also be the last game for on-loan striker Michael Gash after his month's stay at the Amlin Stadium.
"He's done brilliantly for us in the time here but unfortunately the budget doesn't allow me to keep him on for another month, which I would have liked to have done," he explained.
Whether he brings in another loan player before too long remains to be seen and Devonshire said: "We'll just have to see how things go and what happens."