Welsh says Ossett were robbed by referee after ‘handball’ goal

Ossett United manager Andy Welsh

Ossett United manager Andy Welsh slammed referee Matthew Tyers after ex-Ingfielder Eddie Church’s opener in Brighouse Town’s 2-1 win should have been disallowed for handball.

Church, making his first start for Brighouse ironically against his old club, haunted Welsh with both goals in the BetVictor North West clash – but it was the first one that caused huge controversy.

The forward clearly handled the ball in the build-up and Welsh was stunned, along with most of the crowd, when the goal was awarded on the stroke of half-time.

“We brought (Premier League) referee Andy Madley in during the summer to talk to the lads about the new rules regarding handball,” Welsh told Non League Yorkshire.

“We were told that if it hits your arm and ends up in a goal, it is not a goal. 

“That’s the new rules as far as we’re concerned and if the referee and the linesman can’t see that, sorry that’s embarrassing. Everybody in the stadium could see it (the handball).

“I think Brighouse were embarrassed that he gave it. Everybody just stopped, it clearly hit his hand.

“I think the lad who scored it hit it in expecting the whistle to go. The most frustrating thing is that the referee has said he has made a mistake, but there’s people livelihoods at stake.

“There’s players who have come off, there’s people who have paid to watch that today. I think he has spoiled it right from start to finish.

“I’m not usually one to cry about the referee. It is also disappointing for the fans.

“A lot of them travelled up to Billingham and Dunston and we wanted to end the week on a high.

“You can’t legislate for it. Even to the point of their goalkeeper (Jordan Porter). From 65 minutes onwards he was time-wasting and the referee has not dealt with it. He wonders why at the end why people are getting upset and frustrated.

“He should have booked the first time he did it because it is what the law states. You cannot time-waste.”

Welsh was asked whether it was an extreme comment to make about “people’s livelihoods (being) at stake”, with the point that Non League footballers are part-time and in most cases play as a hobby being made to him.

“I agree with what your saying, but people rely on their football money,” he said.

“Throughout the season people rely on their football money to pay a mortgage or car bill.

“I mean it because people aren’t turning up on a Saturday or going to Dunston on a Tuesday night and having to leave work early and getting home at half one in the morning for nothing.

“They aren’t doing it just for fun. They do enjoy doing it, but they are doing it because they get paid.”

Ossett conceded again in the early part of the season. Andy Monkhouse forced a goal back, but Welsh’s men were unable to force an equaliser.

“Like we said at half-time we felt we didn’t do enough in the first half,” he said.

“We certainly didn’t deserve to go in at one down due to the handball. Half-time we’re saying we’ve got 45 minutes and we have got to push.

“To be fair to the players, bar their goal, we looked dominant in their final third. We just couldn’t get the final ball over the line.

“I don’t want to be over-critical of the players because today will have hurt the players. We have had a long week. We went to Dunston last Tuesday, we went to Billingham 48 hours ago in the same sort of heat.

“Its not making excuses, but I go back to it, these lads have given a lot in the past seven days.”

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