Christian Fox claimed a combination of contentious refereeing and a lethargic performance were the main reasons behind Selby Town’s 5-0 home defeat to promotion contenders North Ferriby.
Selby went behind early doors to Tom Corner’s 15th minute opener in the controversial Toolstation NCEL Division One clash. Given it was only their second game in six weeks and first in almost two, understandably Selby looked like a side starting pre-season.
Any hopes of a victory were buried when an extremely debatable penalty was awarded against Ali Ann. The vital defender was then sent off for his protests – when a sin-binning would have more appropriate – ensuring Ferriby an early Christmas present in arguably their easiest win, but most headline grabbing, of the season.
Danny Emerton scored from the spot kick and it was damage limitation from there on as James Piercy (2) and Corner wrapped up Ferriby’s win.
But in North Yorkshire it will be remembered for different reasons which have added more fuel to an already raging inferno. Four of Selby’s last five matches have seen the officials take centre-stage with questionable game-defining decisions.
The appointments list has also raised eyebrows as Fox’s men will have the official of the Ferriby defeat again next week at Worsbrough Bridge.
This is on the back having a different referee bizarrely taking the helm of their previous two fixtures which contained huge controversy.
“We’ve had five yellow cards and one red and they’ve had none. You don’t want to criticise the referees, but it was poor from them,” Fox told Non League Yorkshire.
“I think the first goal was offside. The penalty is six of one, half-a-dozen of another. Everything was against us.
“Ali got booked for the foul which is fair enough if he gives it as a penalty, but my understanding is that if there is a bit of dissent then it is a sin-binning rather than a red card.
“Then there’s the challenge on Josh Walker near the end when no card was shown, and the one on Charlie Clamp too. He’s got a massive gash on his knee and the referee was only a few yards away. He gave us the free kick, but did nothing else.
“They committed the worse fouls of the game, but yet don’t have anyone yellow carded.
“It has been frustrating recently. Its also strange that we’re getting the same referees when there is a big pool to pick from.”
Reflecting on his side’s own performance though, Fox did not concede that Selby were not at the races.
“We never got going and we were sloppy,” he said.
“They were on the front-foot and we conceded a poor goal from our point of view and the second one – the penalty – has absolutely killed us.
“That coincided with the sending-off of Ali. So two-nil down with ten men against a decent team who are going to sit behind the ball and hit us on the counter attack was always going to be difficult.
“We never looked like scoring either. It just wasn’t our day.”