Oakwood lose after late penalty denied
Faithfold A 2-1 Oakwood (AET)
Brad Lee’s challenge on Ben Myers went unpunished
Oakwood manager Ric Blank was left cursing his luck after his team was denied a late penalty in the 2-1 defeat against Premier Division Faithfold in the quarter-finals of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup.
With the match deep into stoppage time in extra time, Oakwood substitute Ben Myers went down following a challenge from Faithfold keeper Bradley Lee but referee Martin Fox, who had replaced Robert Bernardout, ignored their appeals.
Blanc said: "In my opinion it was a stonewall penalty. I just cannot understand why it was not given."
But Fox was confident that he had made the right decision. Commenting on the incident with the assistance of photographic evidence on the JC website, he said: "I am absolutely certain it was not a penalty. I was in a very good position, probably only 10-15 yards away with unobstructed vision and saw the Oakwood forward running for the ball away from the goal with the keeper in pursuit of the ball. If you look at the still pictures on the website you will see the forward kick the ball out of play. Also if you look at another of the photos, you will see the goalkeeper's arms are near side to the attacker and not around his legs and did not pull him down. In fact, on reflection I should have cautioned the player for diving. I gave him the benefit of the doubt."
Faithfold, the three times winners of the competition, were matched in every department by a resilient Oakwood outfit. It was the Superhoops who forged ahead after five minutes when Benji Dymant crossed for Daryl Phillips to slot home from close range.
Oakwood deservedly drew level on the hour when Daniel Geey's long throw was met by centre back Eddie Manson who headed home from close range.
Clearly tiring, Oakwood were relieved to see a stoppage in play as match referee Bernardout pulled up with an calf injury. He was replaced by the onlooking Martin Fox who was called straight into the action by giving a penalty to Faithfold after Matt Geey was adjudged to have handled inside the box. Phillips kept his cool, slotting the penalty to the keeper's left. The drama was not over however as Myers was sent tumbling in the box, but Fox thought otherwise. Victory for Faithfold sets up a semi-final against holders Hendon United A.
Faithfold boss Zuriel Solomon said: "I feel on reflection we deserved it but we had to dig deep against an organised team. I know they will say the ref cost them chances but you have to create more in football and that is what we did."