Hawks boss Doswell hits out at ‘disrespectful’ Slough after controversial abandonment of National League clash
Emotions ran high at Westleigh Park after referee Ali Ajibola controversially abandoned the game 20 minutes from time with Hawks beating fellow National League South high-flyers Slough 2-0.
Both teams, to their credit, had battled through the relentless rain on an increasingly heavy pitch.
Chaos reigned, however, after Jonah Ayunga scored his second goal on 69 minutes.
Slough players and management crowded around Ajibola on the pitch and it was unclear to all what was happening.
After a couple of minutes, the Hawks’ worst fears were confirmed and the referee blew his whistle to end the game prematurely.
Understandably, home manager Paul Doswell and his players were furious at being denied a win that would have taken them above their opponents an into second place.
'We are massively disappointed,' said Doswell.
'The referee's decision to abandon the game when he did was incredible.
'As soon as Slough conceded the second goal, they decided they didn't want to play any more.
'Their management and players put a lot of pressure on the referee to stop the game.
'They got into him.
'The conditions were the same for both sides and the only difference was that they were losing.
'It wasn't dangerous - there weren't any bad tackles and no players had come off with broken legs or collar bones.
'If the game was going to be called off, it should have happened sooner.
'My personal opinion is the pitch wasn't playable at the start but the referee deemed it fit.
'Maybe the referee should have reconsidered again at half-time, or even after 55 minutes when the rain came down harder.
'Once we got to 70 minutes, though, the last 20 minutes wouldn't have made any difference.
'He had no reason to stop it when he did because the rain had actually stopped.'
It was difficult for both teams from the start with the ball skidding off the surface one minute and stopping in the wet the next.
The Hawks went into the break ahead courtesy of Ayunga's firmly struck shot from the edge of the Slough area.
It was Ayunga's second that sparked protests, stemming from a Slough back pass that held up in the wet.
'Even their manager said passing the ball back in the conditions was stupid,' said Doswell, who was angered even further by the visitors’ reaction after the game.
'The biggest disappointment was the reaction of the Slough players in their dressing room,' he reported.
'They were singing and banging on our doors as if they had won the game.
'It was totally disrespectful of them and not something that I expected.'
Doswell forcefully made his point to their management team in a protracted discussion in the tunnel afterwards.
'It will certainly make the replaying of the game a little bit tastier,' he summed up.