10:00AM, Friday 01 November 2019
Marlow FC boss Mark Bartley said Tuesday night’s rematch against Sholing FC in the FA Trophy has left his side with ‘mental scars’ in a game marred by the display of four red cards and questionable refereeing decisions.
A 0-0 draw on Saturday meant the Blues needed to replay the Boatmen at The Mackoy Stadium and with home advantage Sholing progressed in the tournament with a 2-0 win against a Marlow side who ended the game with nine men.
Kelvin Bossman saw red for a late challenge and Charlie Samuel was sent off after he was deemed to have aimed his head towards Sholing’s Owen Roundell during an altercation. Mark Bartley was also dismissed with his assistant Phil Brown for his dissent towards the referee’s decisions.
Samuel’s sending off was met with great confusion in the Marlow dugout after the player looked to have responded to a punch in the face from the Sholing centre-back.
Bartley said he was ‘baffled’ that his player was the only one to leave the field.
“I thought the referee was going to send them both off or at least pull them over and give them a talking to,” said Bartley.
“In the eyes of the law, both players needed to walk but only Charlie (Samuel) got a red.
“It was unbelievable and we were down to ten men in the first half.”
The Marlow boss was cautioned by the match officials at half time for expressing his complaints to the referee.
Kelvin Bossman was next to be given his marching orders after he was adjudged to have fouled a Sholing defender despite being hauled down himself as he was through on goal.
The decision proved too much for Bartley to accept and the manager was dismissed with his assistant Phil Brown.
After the match the Blues manager said how the referee’s actions left his side contemplating if they wanted to carry on playing football.
“I was looking at my players and they were distraught,” said Bartley. “I’ve got back to the changing rooms after the game and I’ve got players questioning whether or not they want to continue to play at this level anymore.
“What can you say to that as a manager?”
Bartley added: “My primary concern is to make sure that the mental wellbeing of my players is where it needs to be.”
“We will sit down in training and have a conversation to try and get everybody’s mind back in the right space.”
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