Worsbrough Bridge manager Lee Morris has hit back at the keyboard warriors who criticised him on Twitter after the abandoned Toolstation NCEL Division One clash with Hallam at Park Road in August.
Morris had been ejected from the dugout in the first half by the referee – half-an-hour before the floodlights went out with Hallam leading 4-0.
Over the next 48 hours Twitter was awash with people slamming Morris – with some urging Worsbrough to sack their manager.
The legendary Frickley Athletic, Buxton and Shaw Lane striker admits that he is no angel having served several stadium/touchline bans in the past two years, but he believes there was a major over-reaction.
A Sheffield-based sports programme on Youtube even spent five minutes calling on Worsbrough to discipline their manager.
“To be tarnished by being called a bully and that I’m this and that towards referees wasn’t nice,” Morris told Non League Yorkshire.
“Everybody gets sent off and I do wear my heart on my sleeve, but that night I never said anything that could have got me sent off.
“I have been defenceless in all this. I’ve been portrayed as some kind of football hooligan. People who know me know that I’m not a football hooligan.
“For people to brand me as things when they don’t know me, I find it ridiculous.
“The authorities should be clamping down on people’s conduct on Twitter. They don’t at the moment. People across Non League football are getting away with posting things that are unacceptable.
“Some of these people who tweeted things after the Hallam game weren’t even at the game.
“I saw my photo on something and my wife said ‘come off it’ so I switched Twitter off for a week.”
Abiding by league rules, Morris had left the ground after being dismissed, long before the lights went out.
So even more comically, some of the tweets from the keyboard warriors suggested Morris was the evil mastermind behind a grand conspiracy to deliberately switch off the floodlights to get the match abandoned.
One tweeter also claimed Worsbrough “knew what they were doing” with the floodlights and Morris adds that there was a lot of disrespect towards Worsbrough.
“Some of it has been ridiculous, to say I turned off the floodlights, I find it laughable,” he said.
“But to tarnish the club, the chairman, the volunteers, the players in the way people did on Twitter when you look at how hard they work was unacceptable in my eyes.
“It could happen anywhere in the country. When I played I’ve been up to Lancaster, up to Blyth when the lights have gone out. It happened at Buxton when I was playing for them. I’ve been winning 4-0 and losing 4-0 when the floodlights have gone out.
“You don’t start shouting about it. These things happen. If it happened to me as manager of Worsbrough at another ground, I wouldn’t complain.
“I don’t know anything about floodlights, but that night against Hallam, it was the biggest storm of the year. There was a lot of rain.
“Some people need to look at themselves. I’ve been very upset about it. Hopefully those people who have said things won’t be back through those gates anyway.”