Moneyfields boss Carter admits ‘we were robbed’ after heartbreaking loss to Southern League leaders Thatcham Town
A fuming Dave Carter pointed the finger of blame firmly at the officials for Moneyfields’ 4-3 defeat at Southern League Division One South leaders Thatcham Town.
Carter felt his side were the victims of some extremely poor decisions as they let slip a 3-1 lead against a side who have only lost once in the league all season.
'We were robbed and I had to feel for my players,' he said.
'The officials appeared to do everything in their power to ensure Thatcham won the game.
'All the major decisions went against us.
'They gave them a penalty that never was, a goal when the ball didn't cross the line and denied us two stonewall penalties.
'On top of that, after we went 3-1 up, they allowed Thatcham to kick off before our players had got back into position.
'From that they went straight up to our end and scored a goal.
'It is hugely frustrating because with the effort the players put in we deserved all three points.
'Our work ethic and commitment against a team sitting at the top of the league was unbelievable.
'Basically we went to war with them in a horrible, scrapping fight.'
Carter brought keeper Max Flintoft - dual signed from US Portsmouth - into the starting XI in place of Ellis Grant following Moneys’ 3-0 home loss to AFC Totton on New Year’s Day.
Flintoft had previously made one Moneys appearance last month, at Winchester City in the Hampshire Senior Cup.
But poor communication between Flintoft and defender Brett Poate resulted in the visitors falling behind after just three minutes.
Flintoft called for the ball but it bonced off off Poate’s chest to put home attacker Kyle Tooze in to net.
Both teams proceeded to cancel each other out until a minute before the break.
Sam Pearce equalised with a 25-yard free-kick into the top right-hand corner of the net.
The visitors came out all guns blazing at the start of the second period.
Rudi Plummer was brought down in the area and Steve Hutchings - back after missing the Totton loss due to illness - put Moneyfields ahead from the penalty spot.
On 55 minutes Plummer broke free on the left, cut in and beat the goalkeeper in a one-on-one.
'From that point it all went downhill,' said Carter.
'They scored straight from the restart when we were still celebrating our goal.'
Thatcham levelled with a goal from a corner before Flintoft saved Matt Day’s penalty and scrambled a follow-up effort away as well.
Five minutes from the end, a Tooze shot bounced down off the underside of the Moneyfields crossbar.
Conor Bailey cleared but to, the visitors’ dismay, the assistant adjudged the ball had crossed the goalline.
After Tooze had been red-carded for a second booking, there was more Moneys frustration in the final minute.
'In a goalmouth scramble we had Ryan Pennery kicked to the floor just as he was about to score,' said Carter.
The defeat leaves Moneyfields fourth from bottom, just four points above bottom club Basingstoke Town but with three games in hand.
The north Hampshire club have big problems, following up a 5-1 New Year’s Day loss to Winchester by crashing 6-1 to Sholing at the weekend.
Connor York has returned to AFC Totton. The defender signed for Moneyfields last summer but never managed to win a regular place in the team.