Boss Butler blasts ref’s display as Gorleston crash out of FA Vase

Ricci Butler blew his top after Saturday's defeat.

Ricci Butler blew his top after Saturday's defeat. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Boss Ricci Butler admits Gorleston’s FA Vase exit has left a sour taste in his mouth.

The Greens’ manager was sent off along with Aaron Taylor during a controversial 4-3 after extra-time second round defeat at home to FC Romania on Saturday. Butler’s blood began to boil when the visitors made it 2-2 by taking advantage of a drop ball situation in a incident which he slammed as unsporting.

That rage reached new levels when last defender Taylor was given his marching orders by referee George Laflin despite seemingly winning the ball.

Butler said: “I’m annoyed at myself for the words I used towards the ref. Maybe we shouldn’t, but people do swear, that’s a fact.

“There’d been no ill feeling or malice in the game until we went to knock the ball back to their keeper at a drop ball after one of their players went down. When the ref dropped it their player ran forward, slotted it through and their lad scored.

“I know people say there’s nothing in the rules but we’ve had games stopped this year over issues about sportsmanship. The young ref bottled it to be honest.

“As for the penalty, it was one of the best defensive tackles you’ll ever see. Aaron made up at least five yards and won the ball that well it went back towards their goal, not ours. I still don’t know how the ref didn’t see it.”

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That penalty put Romania 3-2 ahead and while Joel Watts completed his hat-trick in stoppage time to take the game into extra-time, the 10 men conceded before penalties were needed.

“I still feel so bad for the players, they gave it everything,” added Butler.

“I’ve got a short fuse at times and I did lose it. I was just so frustrated. I understand referees have a tough job and I always tell the lads to leave the ref alone before a game. I wouldn’t do the job they have to.

“We’re always told to respect a ref and do things properly but how could we on Saturday? He’s cost the club £1,000 prize money, he’s cost Aaron to miss a game and £40 to £50 and I’ll be fined. Who will make him pay for his performance? We all make mistakes, I know that, but he’ll still be out there refereeing a game on Saturday and that’s what I can’t get my head around.”

Gorleston have a chance to take out their frustrations on Fakenham tomorrow during a home Norfolk Senior Cup fourth round clash.

Great Yarmouth Town, who saw their game at Wroxham in the same competition postponed for a second time on Tuesday, host Braintee’s reserves in league combat.