Ref lets keeper decide if it’s a penalty!

LYME Regis Rovers’ push for promotion from Perry Street Division Three suffered a set-back when they lost 1-0 at Winsham to a bizarre penalty decision.

This was a disappointing result in a game that they shaded throughout and could have easily scored three of four had they taken their chances.

The Rovers started with the wind behind them in difficult conditions on a wet and bumpy pitch and they struggled to get the ball down effectively.

Skipper Matt Thomas, dropping into the centre half position, dealt well with the Winsham attacks. A few decisions started to go against Lyme and as the game wore on they had very few favours from the referee.

In the second half with the wind against them the Rovers kept pushing forward with Darius Pickering missing and open goal, the Winsham making a point-blank save and Freddie Andrews squandering a couple of great chances, including hitting the post.

The only goal of the game came in bizarre circumstances. The Lyme keeper, Jim Larcombe, rushed out of his goal to block a Winsham’ winger’s run at goal and brought down the man on the edge of the box with three defenders behind him. The referee then offered Larcombe a compromise – take a red card and Winsham would be given a free-kick, or stay on the pitch with the home side getting a penalty and no card. Larcombe settled for the penalty which Winsham duly converted.

After that a number of poor tackles on the Lyme players went unpunished.

Afterwards, joint manager Rob Larcombe commented: “I’m not blaming the referee for our loss as we didn’t take our chances,  but the penalty was an unbelievable decision and is a sore point.”

The defeat saw the Rovers drop to fourth place in Division Three, five points behind leaders Merriott Dynamos but having played one more game. They meet the Dynamos this coming Saturday.

Woodmead Halls

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