‘The ref got it wrong,’ says Brady Stone as Ely City are beaten by controversial Great Yarmouth Town goal

James Seymour tries to bring the ball under control on a windy afternoon at the Unwin Ground.

James Seymour tries to bring the ball under control on a windy afternoon at the Unwin Ground. - Credit: Archant

Ely City boss Brady Stone was left furious when he was sent from the pitch after a controversial goal condemned his men to a 1-0 defeat to promotion rivals Great Yarmouth Town.

Tempers flared in the second-versus-third Thurlow Nunn Division One battle when referee Wayne Middlemas failed to give a foul following an aerial challenge on Robins’ goalkeeper Harry Reynolds.

A deep corner was played into the box by Yarmouth’s Declan McAvoy, and it appeared that Reynolds was being fouled by an opposing player as the ball sailed into the net.

Despite the home side’s protestations the goal was given, and Robins boss Brady Stone was left seething after his side slipped from second place in the league.

“It was a terrible decision,” he said. “Their player has a hold of Harry and he can’t get anywhere near the ball.”

Stone also revealed that Middlemas admitted his mistake after the full-time whistle, but says that his admission made little difference.

He said: “I spoke to the referee after the game and he’s said he’s got it wrong and he should have given a free kick.

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“Fair play to him for being honest and admitting to his mistake, but it doesn’t do us any favours.”

The controversial 75th-minute winner sparked a touchline row between the two sides’ coaching staff, which resulted in joint Yarmouth boss Adam Mason and Stone being sent from the pitch.

The Ely boss said: “There was a little argument between the two assistant managers, I’ve stepped in to try and calm it all down and tell them to go back to the dugout but the ref’s had a word with the assistant and decided to send me and their assistant off the pitch.”

Windy conditions and an uneven playing surface at the Unwin Ground made for a difficult game on Saturday, and Stone believes that a draw would have been a fair result.

He said: “The wind completely spoiled the game. Whenever the ball was in the air it went out for a throw-in and it made for a terrible game. Neither team deserved to win the game but they got the winner which is disappointing but that’s football.”

Ely’s woes were compounded by an injury to their 13-goal striker Matty Simpson, who pulled up with a hamstring injury.

“We’ll be without Matty for a few weeks,” said Stone. “He’ll probably go and see the physio this week but it’s not good and he’s likely to miss two or three weeks.”

A spell on the sidelines for Simpson means he will miss the Robins’ clash with Team Bury tomorrow night (7.45pm), alongside Nathan Littlefair, who picked up a knee injury in the Robins 1-0 defeat.

Stone said: “We’ll be without Nathan too as he picked up a bit of a knock to his knee.”

Ely can return to second place in the Thurlow Nunn Division One with victory over struggling Team Bury, who sit in 18th in the league having picked up only two wins all season.