Wanderers score own goal
PUBLISHED: 14:56 12 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010
SOCCER: Stowmarket Town 1 Ipswich Wanderers 0 (abandoned after 39 minutes). IPSWICH Wanderers, struggling for points at the wrong end of the Premier Division of the Jewson League, need all the friends they can muster.
Stowmarket Town 1 Ipswich Wanderers 0 (abandoned after 39 minutes)
IPSWICH Wanderers, struggling for points at the wrong end of the Premier Division of the Jewson League, need all the friends they can muster.
But they scored an horrendous public relations own goal when they caused this game at Greens Meadow, Stowmarket to be called off after 39 minutes on Saturday.
When assistant referee Peter Cornwell from Cloverhill, Norfolk went down in a heap after turning sharply he damaged a leg and had to be helped back to his dressing room.
His misfortune led to a war of words between both clubs – and left referee Richard Beevore with no alternative than to call a halt.
While Stowmarket Town were happy to accept a replacement linesman, Wanderers manager Alan Dilloway was not.
He was completely within his rights as league rules state that both clubs must mutually accept any replacement.
But Wanderers will be accused of unsporting behaviour and caring little for the well-being of the game. Cynics will suggest that at one goal down their best chance of gaining valuable points from this fixture is to play the match again.
Dilloway, who caused consternation in his own camp when he had men on the bench but started the first half with ten players in a defeat at Harwich recently, said he did not want to comment other than to say:
"I was not happy to accept another linesman. It was the referee who called the game off, not me."
Dilloway's opposite number Mel Aldis could not understand Wanderers' reaction.
The Stowmarket manager said: "The referee spoke to Alan and myself and said that he had an official who had just finished controlling the Haughley United game in the SIL.
"I was happy with that – I would have carried on with Alan Dilloway running the line – but Alan said no as he wanted a fully qualified Jewson League official to take over. At the end of the day we are all playing for fun and surely man enough to accept the decisions of any replacement.
"Are we going to have a situation where we have a fourth Jewson League qualified official for all our games? It cannot be done."
Like Wanderers, Stowmarket do not find it easy to attract paying spectators through their turnstiles. There were 76 in attendance on Saturday and they had every right to feel cheated after receiving poor value for their £3 entrance fee.
And Stowmarket chairman Derek Barnard sympathised with them all.
He said: "How many will not come back again after this? We find it hard enough getting supporters without sending them home before half-time. You have to feel sorry for them.
"Games have to be abandoned sometimes, because of bad weather, a bad injury or even if the referee gets hurt. But not surely just because an assistant referee has to hobble off.
"Our secretary contacted Haughley and their referee was happy to come and run the line as his match finished just after 3.30pm. He is a qualified senior referee.
"The whole business is ridiculous and stinks. It was a lovely day for football and the game was evenly poised."
Two other referees offered their services including Stowmarket programme editor Jonathan Gooding, a qualified official who has run the line in one Jewson League reserve cup game this season and has another booking coming up.
What appeared to be just an inconvenience for Mr Cornwell and a brief interference to the game turned into a full-scale row and will certainly heighten feelings when the match is 'replayed'.
Stowmarket went ahead in the 21st minute when Colin Yeomans worked well at the by-line and his accurate cross was met by Stuart Jopling's powerful header at the near post - giving James Hollman no chance.
Earlier Roger Aldis had a goal-bound shot blocked by Jopling and after 26 minutes Wayne Pannell should have scored after hesitant defending when he stretched to toe-poke beyond the exposed Hollman but his effort was blocked.
Just before the 'end' Wanderers got into the game with Danny Smy having an effort blocked after Simon Nunn came out of goal but failed to gather.
Wanderers have enough talent to survive with former international schoolboy player Leon Bell and ex-Rotherham player Glyn Roberts in their side. Plus ex-Ipswich Town youth keeper Hollman and up-and-coming youngster Jermaine Harewood.
Stowmarket, who are giving a trial to a Slovakian defender who has just moved into the area, will soon be without ace striker Jopling after he received a three week ban for being sent off against Mildenhall.
Stowmarket: Nunn, Whatling, Ratcliffe, Barker, M Barnard, Scoulding, Platt, Pannell, Jopling, Yeomans, R Aldis. Subs: Butcher, Kingman, Andrews, M Aldis.
Ipswich Wanderers: Hollman, Lowe, J Harewood, Cattermole, Bell, Howell, W Harewood, Bell, Smy, Roberts, Burman. Subs: Goldfinch, Baker, Hetherington.