'I'm questioning whether to stay in the game because it's really getting to me' - boss Pete Stiles enraged by sending-off as 10-man Fareham Town ship seven against Portland

Seething Pete Stiles raged at the refereeing decision he felt proved a hugely defining factor in Fareham Town's home Wessex League Premier Division thumping by Portland.

Sunday, 5th December 2021, 2:51 pm
Fareham boss Pete Stiles, right. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 170821-13)

But the Reds boss admitted he had to shoulder some of the blame after his troops were stuffed 7-3 at Cams Alders.

Fareham were reduced to 10-men right on the stroke of half-time as Ryan Mackney was shown a straight red card following his tackle on a Portland opponent.

Yet Stiles felt the challenge warranted a yellow card at best - and ultimately left his team facing a tall order for the remainder of the match at 2-1.

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In fact, it's a decision which has left the Fareham boss so irate he's questioning whether to continue to stay involved in football after being left to feel the same with multiple calls by officials this season.

Stiles fumed: ‘It doesn’t help when you’ve got a referee sending a player off for something which was even questionable whether it was a yellow (card) in the first half.

‘I’m getting sick and tired of referees dictating and ruining games and it was yet another (occasion). It makes you question why you bother doing football.

‘Ryan’s gone in for a tackle, it’s nothing more than that, it was questionable whether it was a yellow and he’s pulled a red out to send him off.

‘I’m questioning whether to stay in the game because it’s really getting to me.

‘We were 2-1 down, chasing it, but we still felt we could get back into it then we were down to 10-men.’

When Kai Sterne slotted Fareham in front inside three minutes very few could have predicted what was to come, as Fareham would go onto concede seven goals in a single league game for the first time since a 7-0 home defeat to Blackfield & Langley in December 2016.

After hat-trick hero Ben Morris had levelled on 29 minutes, he turned the game on its head four minutes later with his second to put Portland ahead.

Mackney was then, controversially in the eyes of Stiles, shown a straight red in the lead-up to the break to leave the hosts with it all to do.

But the five goals the Reds conceded after the break – incredibly just a week after winning 5-1 at title-hopefuls Horndean - was ‘just not good enough’ admitted Stiles.

And efforts in the second half from Garry Moody, who made it 4-2, and Josh Benfield were nothing more than mere consolations.

Stiles stressed: ‘He’s contributed (the referee) but we weren’t good enough again yesterday and the buck stops with me on that. I put the team out and we didn’t fight hard enough, we didn’t compete hard enough, we rolled over and it’s just not good enough.’