Ritchie raging at officials

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Steve Ramsey scored for AFC Portchester in their defeat at Amesbury Town. Picture: Keith Woodland

Bognor remain bottom after defeat

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H awks boss Stuart Ritchie was left fuming after a heated finish to the 1-1 draw at Staines Town.

Ollie Palmer had given the Hawks the lead but they were denied their first Blues Square Bet South win of the season in controversial circumstances.

Defender Sam Pearce was sent off late on for a second bookable offence and keeper Clark Masters was also dismissed in the tunnel after the game.

This all came after the Hawks were denied a penalty in the closing stages at Wheatsheaf Park.

Scott Jones was clearly pulled back, three yards inside the area.

The referee sent off the Staines defender but inexplicably gave the Hawks a free-kick – three yards outside the area.

Manager Stuart Ritchie said: ‘It was a stone-wall penalty.

‘Even the Staines supporters were laughing at the decision.

‘We are just not getting the right decisions and officials don’t seem to like us for some reason.’

Referee Nigel Lugg didn’t have the greatest of days.

He brandished his cards on a regular basis.

Eleven players picked up bookings when there wasn’t a bad challenge in the game.

However, the Westleigh Park side contributed to their own downfall through poor discipline.

Palmer, new-boy Arron Dawson and Sam Pearce all went into the referees book for dissent in the second half.

Pearce then needlessly picked up a second booking to see red at the death.

And to make matters worse, keeper Masters was red-carded in the tunnel for letting the referee know his feelings on what proved a highly-charged end to the contest.

Palmer had put the Hawks in front after 32 minutes, with a good strike from the edge of the penalty area.

It should have been more for the Hawks.

Palmer hit the post and striker Sahr Kabba, making his first league start after injury, chose to shoot from a tight angle when the better option was to square the ball to an unmarked Steve Ramsey.

The Hawks paid a heavy price for those misses.

Staines punished poor defending at a set-piece to equalise two minutes before half-time.

A free-kick was angled into the area and with the visiting defence asleep, Matt Drage escaped to send a shot against the crossbar.

With the defence still slow to react, Tony Garrod hammered in the rebound from close range.

‘I went in at half-time and had a go at the players and told one or two of them that they had to do it for 90 minutes,’ said Ritchie.

‘To be fair, they went out and dominated the second half.

‘We just made wrong decisions in the final third.

‘We were the better team and I hope it will show the players they are capable of becoming a very good side.’

Hawks: Masters 7, Hinshelwood 7, Arthur 8, Hutchinson 6 (Woodford 24mins – 7), Page 7, Pearce 7, Ramsey 6, Dawson 8, Kabba 7 (Jones 71mins), Palmer 7, Nanetti 6 (Harris 90mins)

Att: 329