Leamington boss critical of referee following game-changing red card in defeat at Kettering Town

Frustrated Leamington boss Paul Holleran blasted the referee after he dished out a game-changing red card in the Brakes’ 3-0 defeat at Kettering Town.
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Theo Streete was dismissed by Gareth Thomas on 36 minutes after he was deemed to have denied Keaton Ward a clear goal-scoring opportunity, with the hosts also being given a penalty.

It was a decision which left Holleran bemused following what he say as a simple coming together.

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“It looked like there was a coming together,” said Holleran. “I can accept that, but how you can send him off for a clear goalscoring opportunity when the ball is ten foot up in the air and their player is on the angle I just don’t know.

Leamington remain in trouble after a 3-0 defeat at Kettering Town. Pic by Sally Ellis.Leamington remain in trouble after a 3-0 defeat at Kettering Town. Pic by Sally Ellis.
Leamington remain in trouble after a 3-0 defeat at Kettering Town. Pic by Sally Ellis.

"When it was happening you could see with the goalkeeper and Theo and their striker, I was looking at where the Ref was, and he was about 50 yards away. Possibly you couldn’t argue that it was a penalty but where the red card has come from I’m not so sure.

“When you’ve played on the Friday and then you’ve got to come here and play on this pitch, the last thing you want to do is go down to ten men. Jack (Edwards) was quite effective in the middle of the park, you’ve got to move him back to centre half because you’re a man light in there; but again, I thought we competed and had a couple of good opportunities.

"It was never going to be a classic but up until the red card I thought we were sort of in control of it, it was looking like possibly a 1-0 sort of game, but key moments - the red card and the set play - we haven’t dealt with them and we’ve been punished. It’s been a poor day for us.

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“I said it on Friday, if we can get a win then it’s a big help, but there are still 9 points to play for. We’ve got two games at home. What’s gone on today hasn’t helped us. The red card hasn’t helped us.”Streete was on hand to make a last ditch clearance from Ben Sault’s strike at goal, which was the only real clear cut opening for either side in the first half an hour of play. Mooney went down inside the Kettering penalty area, but the claims for a spot kick came more from the terraces than on the pitch.

The game hinged on the events in the 36th minute. Keaton Ward and Streete were in a foot race to win a long ball towards the Leamington box, and with Ted Cann deciding to stay on his line, Streete clumsily brought down the Poppies man.

There was little debate about the award of a penalty, but with the ball in the air and the attacker not heading directly towards goal, the red card was not quite so clear cut.

However, that was the decision, and Leamington were forced to play for the remaining hour or so with ten men, and found themselves behind as Jimmy Knowles sent Cann the wrong way from 12 yards to give Kettering the lead.

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Tedd Cann saved a low effort from George Cooper seconds after the restart, but Leamington came close themselves when Owen Mason produced a flying save to push Dan Turner’s goalbound curler over his crossbar.

Cann pushed away a low strike from Poppies skipper Gary Stohrer as the heavens opened once more for a heavy shower, while Ollie Hulbert saw a shot deflected behind for a corner on the right, which Mason did well to hold under his crossbar as the ball swirled into his six yard box.

With fifteen minutes remaining the game looked to be up as substitute Lewis White headed home from a corner to double Kettering’s advantage.

The game was well and truly over in added time as substitute Sam Bennett was sent one on one with Cann, and finished low to seal the points and send the home fans out of Latimer Park believing their team had almost done enough to keep themselves up.

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