Lee Bradbury: Officials didn’t do their job properly in Havant & Waterlooville’s loss to Chesterfield

The Hawks confront the match officials following their 2-1 defeat to Chesterfield. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
The Hawks confront the match officials following their 2-1 defeat to Chesterfield. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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Lee Bradbury felt the Hawks were robbed after a stoppage-time penalty condemned them to a 2-1 defeat against Chesterfield at a windswept Westleigh Park on Saturday. 

The boss was left fuming with the officials after his side suffered late heartbreak in their bid to avoid relegation from the National League.

Bradbury rued the decision that Dan Strugnell brought down Jerome Binnom-Williams  inside the area, with Scott Boden firing home the spot-kick at the death.

And he admitted the referee and his assistants’ performances were not up to scratch. 

‘The officials let us down big time,' said Bradbury.

‘It was a horrible way to lose a football game.

‘Dan Strugnell – who is as honest as they come – is adamant that he got the ball in his tackle that resulted in the penalty.

‘Even their manager admitted that he got the ball.

‘Then at the other end we had an equally good shout for a penalty after a foul on Matt Paterson that was turned down.

‘The officials have got to be better and they didn't do their job.

‘Their technology wasn't working which meant that they were not able to communicate with each other.

‘No wonder why they were all over the place. It is a joke.

‘This is the National League and we expect more.

‘The two fouls, from which we conceded, were not fouls.

‘It is so frustrating particularly in the position that we are in.

‘My players fought tooth and nail to get a result and they were gutted at the end.

‘We deserved better from the game and were good value for at least a point.

‘The weather wasn't really conducive to a good game of football.

‘It meant that we had to roll our sleeves up and work hard to get a result. My players did just that.’

The Hawks failed to make the most of playing with the strong wind behind them in the first half and allowed Chesterfield to get on the front foot.

It was against the run of play when Chris Paul gave the hosts the lead on twelve minutes – scoring directly from a corner.

His wicked in-swinging delivery caught Spirites keeper Shawn Jalal out and nestled into the far corner of the net.

Bradbury knew his troops could expect a bombardment in the second half against the giant visiting forwards.

Seven minutes after the restart a deep free-kick from the right was headed in by Will Evans to equalise. 

The battling Hawks hauled themselves back into the game and could have gone ahead when Wes Fogden fired against the legs of Jalal. 

Then came the dramatic finale, with Boden’s penalty piling more misery on the hosts’ relegation troubles.

They sit four points from safety with seven games remaining.

Barnet, who are immediately above the Hawks in 20th spot, also have four games in hand.

‘We didn't make the most of the wind in the first half,' added Bradbury.

‘In the conditions it was always going to be a game of two halves.

‘It is tough but we now have to go out and try to win every game.’