Referee cost us three points, says Steelmen boss Bell

Corby Town boss David Bell in action during the 1-1 draw with Sheffield FC. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Corby Town boss David Bell in action during the 1-1 draw with Sheffield FC. Pictures by Alison Bagley

David Bell was unable to contain his frustration as he launched an attack on the officials after Corby Town’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield FC in the Evo-Stik League South.

The Steelmen halted a run of four successive defeats in all competitions as 16-year-old substitute grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser at Steel Park.

New signing Lee Beeson goes flying during the Steelmen's draw at Steel Park

New signing Lee Beeson goes flying during the Steelmen's draw at Steel Park

But Bell was left fuming with the decision that led to the visitors taking the lead from the penalty spot eight minutes into the second half.

A fierce strike from Derry Robson appeared to strike the arm of defender Jamie Anton in the area, although there seemed to be little he could do to get out of the way of it.

Referee Richard Walker awarded the spot-kick, which was converted by Andrew Gascoigne and it looked, for a long time, like it would be the winning goal.

O’Brien salvaged a point with his fine late finish but Bell felt the referee cost his team the chance to win the game.

Paul Malone gets up to win a header

Paul Malone gets up to win a header

“I know who will be the happier manager and it’s certainly not me,” the Steelmen boss said.

“If a referee gives a handball decision in the box, he has to be 100 per cent sure.

“He was standing blind side to Jamie Anton and their player has hit it that quick, for Jamie to react and make it handball is physically impossible.

“It’s a terrible decision, it put them on the front foot but to be fair to the players we kept going.

“There were loads of positives and if I am being brutally honest, the referee has cost us three points. You can dress it up how you want, he has cost us three points.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to the officials but I am honest. It is never a handball.

“But I can’t fault the players’ effort, it’s come to a point now where I am scratching my head.

“My goalkeeper has had one save to make in 90 minutes and we are chasing the game at 1-0 down.

“I just said to the players that it has to turn for us. We can’t keep dominating games like we did yesterday without getting maximum points.

“So we have to keep going, keep that togetherness and the points will come.”

Youngster O’Brien showed glimpses of his potential during pre-season and Bell was delighted to see the youngster make a big impact after he was brought on for the final half-an-hour.

“We needed a goal and a bit of a spark,” Bell added.

“Jordan trained on Wednesday night and he was outstanding, it was the best he’s trained with us.

“We wanted to get him on the pitch because we knew he would give us that spark and play with a bit of freedom.

“And when he came on, the six or seven times he got possession he looked a real threat.

“For 16 years old, the composure he showed for the goal was beyond his years and he is a real talent.”

Bell confirmed after the match that summer signings Olly Brown-Hill and Conor Marshall have now left Steel Park with the latter expected to join Spalding United.

The Steelmen are back in action on Wednesday night when they head to league rivals Lincoln United in the preliminary round of the Integro League Cup.