AN early injury to stand-in keeper Matt White disrupted Lyme Rovers’ plans on a frustrating afternoon against Misterton.
With less than to minutes played, White, standing in as all three first choice keepers are injured, bravely blocked at the feet of the on-rushing Misterton forward before their knees collided.
Robbie Fowler donned the gloves for the rest of the game. Fowler was called into action on a couple of occasions in the first half, saving well from a one-on-one, and tipping a free-kick around the post. The home side also smashed an effort against the post.
The Rovers, playing their first game in Perry Sweet Division One, the highest level in which they have played, battled hard and found themselves on the end of some dubious refereeing decision. Josh Daines, in particular, received several late challenges that went unpunished.
The second half continued much the same, with the hosts just shading play, and creating a few more half chances.
Tempers in the game flared, when the referee – some 50 metres away – gave a handball against keeper Fowler outside his area kicking from his hands. Minutes later, player-manager Rob Larcombe was sin-binned for dissent, despite not being the player talking to the ref.
Misterton again rattled the woodwork with a long distance shot before more controversy. Lyme won a free-kick on the right wing, and with the ball delivered into the area, skipper Toby Fowler prodded goalwards. Misteron’s keeper parried, but Josh Daines was on hand to run onto the ball and stab home from two metres out.
Inexplicably, the referee disallowed the goal for offside. As so often happens, within two minutes, and with less than a minute to play, the home side got the goal they probably deserved, smashing home from close-range on the counter attack.
Man of the match was Robbie Fowler for his efforts in goal, with Cam Fowler and Jon Davies again showing great work ethic in the midfield engine room.
Lyme manager Rob Larcombe said after the game: ““It says a lot about the referee’s performance when the majority of the opposition, and linesman, felt the need to apologise after the game.
“But absolute credit where it’s due, the better side on the day won the points. The midfield battle was fairly even, but they created far more than us. We’ll learn from it, and build on plenty of promising signs.”