Craig Elliott had ‘not too many complaints’ about Ashley Jackson’s red card... but plenty about the amount of added time after Boston United beat Nuneaton Borough last night.
The Pilgrims led 2-1 thanks to goals from Nathan Arnold and Jonathan Wafula when the board announced a minimum of three minutes to be played, only for referee Amy Fearn to finally blow the full-time whistle almost seven minutes later.
The match official later confirmed she had signalled for seven extra minutes to be played and a mix-up had seen the wrong number shown to the Jakemans Stadium, but boss Elliott was still fuming that the contest had not been finished earlier.
“I’m not happy about it. I know we won the game but it’s ridiculous. Seven minutes,” he said.
“You don’t see it unless there’s been a major incident.”
Boston defended their lead a man short following Ashley Jackson’s straight red card for a foul on Michael Tweed.
And despite the left back protesting his innocence to coaching staff long after both teams were down the tunnel, Elliott chose not to condemn the decision.
“I felt, from where I was, that he didn’t go in with two feet, but some of the lads in the team said it were reckless,” the manager said.
“You know what, if it were against me I’d probably be calling for a red. So I’ve got not too many complaints.
“I’m more angry about the added time.
“I thought the referee was very inconsistent, but it is what it is. These are things you can’t control.”
While Elliott finished the evening with a number of frustrations, another being the lack of ‘crative spark’ in his attack line, he was pleased with the dogged nature of his defence as they limited Borough to few real opportunities.
“The sending off changes things in your head and it’s a bad time to concede,” he said of Jackson’s 78th-minute red and Enoch Andoh’s goal which followed seconds later.
“But in the end we managed it well and these are the experiences you need to come through.
“We could have easily drawn the game, but I don’t think they had a chance, as such, after that.”
The half-time arrival of Nicky Walker, who replaced Andre Johnson and set up Wafula’s goal with a wonderful reverse pass which cut through the Nuneaton defence, was another plus for the manager.
“I wasn’t happy with the first half, it just felt flat,” he added.
“I thought Nicky came on and changed the game for us.
“I thought we were poor up front and lacked a lot of movement, and the ball kept coming back to us.
“This is what you want from forwards, effort.
“He’s chased a ball he shouldn’t have got to and he’s got the ability to put in a fantastic pass. Great vision.”