Draw leaves a bitter taste, but ref stands by his decision

PUBLISHED: 17:25 02 February 2011

Mitchell Das scored twice

Mitchell Das scored twice

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REFEREE Stuart Gillman came under fire for a controversial last-minute offside decision that cost The Bloods three points on Saturday.

Downham Town 3 Saffron Walden 3

The Colchester-based ref allowed Downham forward Ash Smith’s goal in the 87th minute, despite striker Neil Goodbour seemingly standing in front of Walden keeper Ronnie Yates in an offside position.

Speaking to the Saffron Walden Reporter after the game though, Mr Gillman refused to defend his decision “because it was the right one.”

With the visitors leading 3-2 thanks to goals from Mitchell Das (2) and Brad Green Mr Gillman spent two minutes consulting with his linesman before allowing the equaliser.

He said that there was nothing wrong with the goal because he felt the goalkeeper did had a clear view of the ball and was not impeded by the forward.

Downham has never been a happy hunting ground for Walden and the point they claimed here only sees them lose some ground on the top six as they are now eight points adrift in eighth place.

However it was a bright start by the visitors and they will be delighted to see Das back in the goals. His first was a firm header from a Joe Murphy cross inside 15 minutes and his second was a free kick from the edge of the box in the second half.

However, every time Walden got their noses in front Downham came back and equalised.

The home side were lucky to still have 11 men on the pitch come the half time whistle after a two footed lunge by Goodbour on Peter Flack only resulted in a yellow card.

To add salt to the wounds, Goodbour went on to equalise for two-all and also played his part in the controversial third.

Club spokesman Barry Butchart said after the game: “Even though we gained an away point, it felt very much like a loss with two points being snatched away at the death.”

Last Wednesday Walden were also dumped out of the First Division Knock Out Cup, Despite an Alex Riches goal they went down 5-1 at home to Whitton United.

Next: Walden travel to Ipswich Wanderers who have not won in three matches. Kick off 3pm.


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