Comrades crash out as refereeing decisions leave Vipond fuming

Ed Canham was one of two Berko players to be shown a red card. Picture (c) Phil Hobbs
Ed Canham was one of two Berko players to be shown a red card. Picture (c) Phil Hobbs

Berkhamsted manager Mick Vipond was left bemoaning a series of controversial refereeing decisions as he saw his side knocked out of the FA Cup at Ashford Town.

The Comrades went down 3-1 to their Middlesex opponents, but ended the game with nine men– as well as seeing Vipond himself sent to the stands.

Vipond was left bemused by a number of the decisions, and says it was one of the worst refereeing displays he has ever witnessed.

“It was absolutely appalling,” said Vipond. “We’ve all had bad refereeing decisions and that’s part and parcel of football, but what we got on Saturday was just terrible.”

Jordan Frederick was sent off for retaliation after having the ball kicked at him, while Ashford keeper Tyler Tobin was lucky to stay on the pitch after taking out BJ Christie who was through on goal.

Vipond was dismissed for foul language, but insists he was the victim of mistaken identity, while Ashford received a hotly-disputed penalty themselves.

Ed Canham was also given his marching orders late on to wrap up a miserable afternoon for the Comrades.

“Their penalty was one of the worst penalty decisions I have ever seen,” said Vipond. “Then their keeper took out BJ (Christie) and somehow just got a yellow.

“The referee came over and asked me to leave the pitch for saying something, but I had said absolutely nothing.

“I am going to wait for the referee’s report and then appeal, because it is an appalling decision.

“Everyone makes mistakes, managers as well, but when it is as one sided as that, it is just terrible.

“The repercussions are that we are out of the FA Cup, losing out on £1,500, and we now have two players suspended.”

Berko fielded the side that beat had beaten Tring in midweek but lost their 100 per cent record for the season and went out of the competition.

Ashford took the lead in the 18th minute when Mark Bidmead pounced on a defensive error and rounded Carl Tasker to open the scoring.

But Berko responded well and levelled the scores when a Courtney Massay cross was deflected into his own net at the near post by Rob Curtis.

Tasker then kept out a shot that was destined for the top corner and the sides went into the interval level.

The second half was full of incident and controversial refereeing.

Four minutes into the half, the match officials missed an incident but caught JFrederick retaliating and he was shown a red card for pushing an Ashford player.

The 10 men played well for a 20-minute period, however, with Canham flicking on a Josh Chamberlain throw-in and hitting the post.

There was further controversy when Ashford goalkeeper Tobin raced out of his area and brought down BJ Christie with two feet but escaped with a yellow instead of a red card.

Ashford took the lead with a penalty by Bidmead – awarded after James Baldry won the ball in a tackle – and with just six minutes to go, Bidmead setup Dan Fleming to make it 3-1 and kill off any hope of Berko getting a replay.