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Simkin: It was a Sussex farce
EASTBOURNE BOROUGH 0 DORCHESTER TOWN 0
PHIL Simkin was almost lost for words in his assessment of opponents Eastbourne and the match officials after tonight’s stalemate at Priory Lane.
The failure of the floodlights in the closing stages was just the tip of the iceberg for Magpies’ boss Simkin who pulled no punches when asked for his take on the encounter.
“The whole evening was a farce,” he said. “The lights went out then it dragged on and it was the culmination of a very poor evening, particularly for the officials.
“It was probably the worst game I have ever been involved in at this level.
“Their players were allowed to get away with cheating by a very poor referee and we were lucky to get a point out of it.
“I was warned about Eastbourne by a highly respected fellow manager in this league and he was absolutely right.
“Arran Pugh’s sending off for two yellow cards was totally unfounded and you only had to breathe on their players and they fell over.
“We didn’t have a referee strong enough to officiate the game.”
He added: “We had chances during the game and so did they and Jason Matthews in goal was exceptional.
“A lot of sides in this league would have buckled under what was going on but we didn’t.
“We came away with a point and that’s credit to our lads.
“I’ve been involved in poor games but that was horrible because they didn’t play fair quite frankly and they were allowed to do that.
“I made an error by not bringing off Arran Pugh after his first yellow card because every time he went near their player the guy threw himself up in the air.
“If I had to set a team up like theirs I would have to retire.
“They have got good players but the manner in which they play the game is disgraceful.”
Nearly all of the major talking points came in the last 10 minutes when Pugh was given a second caution and minutes later the floodlights went out, forcing both sets of players off the pitch until the problem was fixed.
Around 12 minutes later the lights came back on and the players ret-urned with neither side managing to break the deadlock in the time left.
However, as well as the point, other pluses for Simkin were a return for striker Kieffer Moore after a spell out with a thigh injury while club captain Mark Jermyn came off the bench midway through the second half after he missed Saturday’s defeat to Bromley following an operation on his nose.
In goal, Matthews came in for Benjamin Büchel, who suffered a serious knee injury at the weekend.
Jake Smeeton and Harry Bell dropped to the bench, Charlie Clough, playing his last game before a four-match ban, reverted to right- back and Neil Martin to left-back with Nick Crittenden in midfield and Moore up front.
Magpies: Matthews, Clough, Martin, Pugh, Walker, Gleeson (Jermyn 66), Crittenden, Nicholls, Watson (Morgan 83), Moore, Malsom (Smeeton 85). Subs not used: Bell, Brooks.