Leamington’s Twitter feed went crazy on Tuesday as a Kettering player was sent off for ‘hitting the ref’ before the match was then halted.
It took place in an FA Trophy tie between Kettering Town and the Brakes with Leamington winning 3-0 by half time.
It was a great start for Leamington with Morley sending in a free-kick, it was headed back across goal and Danny Waldron slid in to score from close range after just 30 seconds.
10 minutes later there were scenes that nobody had ever seen before with a player getting sent off and went absolutely livid afterwards.
@LeamingtonFC wrote on their Twitter: “11’ Kettering’s captain McGrath sent off for hitting the ref and bad language. Has absolutely lost it.”
@LeamingtonFC then added: “The home changing room door has just taken a beating as well, we can hear it on the other side of the ground. Wow. Never seen anything like that before and I don’t really know what to say – never seen anything like that before.”
Reporter Jon Dunham also gave his version of events: “My goodness. Michael McGrath has been sent-off and this is ugly. He was booked for dissent, and then booked again for dissent. It’s terrible from the Kettering captain. Right in the referee’s face even as he walked off. Poor, very poor.
“Not sure what more can be said about that sending-off. Michael McGrath just lost the plot with the referee and talked himself into the red card. Poppies shell-shocked. It couldn’t be going any worse for them.”
Here’s the whole thing. No idea why McGrath lost it so badly???? pic.twitter.com/HERXLYjRDI
— PoppiesFansPetiton (@RRPetition) January 19, 2021
When being questioned whether you actually can call it a ‘hit’, Leamington replied: “I’d say a slap is a hit?”
On the 23rd minute, Leamington managed to double their lead and it really was coming.
It came from another set-piece, Morley sending in another quality ball with Jack Edwards getting up highest to power header the ball into the back of the net.
Then just like that, on the 31st minute, Leamington made it 3-0 and in miraculous circumstances as if this game couldn’t be any more wild.
Dan Meredith scored direct from a corner to do what looked as though to seal a place in the FA Trophy Fifth Round where they would face the winners of Stamford v Hereford.
Then at half time, the flood lights went out (time 8:39pm), Leamington said than an electrician was on his way, however the lights were still out until the safety ones were switched on by 9:11pm with the game still yet to restart by this point with some bleak looking faces appearing as the time goes over half 9 with still no update.
Kettering gave another update, at quarter to ten: “The lights are back out here at @LeamingtonFC. Western Power are now in attendance and the officials will be allowing the workman until 9:50pm to fix the problem.
Then the referee was told he must wait until 10:30pm before making any decision on the game, then there was confirmation of lights fully on by 9:55pm with kick off at half 10.
Lights are out… stream has disconnected but stay with us pic.twitter.com/XkYzxEe4nE
— Leamington FC ⚽️ (@LeamingtonFC) January 19, 2021
Safety lights back on. Not full floodlights yet though pic.twitter.com/5Iorba41Eo
— Jon Dunham (@JonDunhamNT) January 19, 2021
The second half began at 10:31pm, so no more goals, however Kettering did end up going down to 8 men with two further sending offs.
The game finally came to an end at 11:18pm, and surely you’ve got to feel for those players who have to get up for work in the morning!
Full Time: Kettering Town 0-3 Leamington
What a crazy game! Had everything but the most important thing is we are through to the round of sixteen! pic.twitter.com/7ofKOYhRSU
— Leamington FC ⚽️ (@LeamingtonFC) January 19, 2021
Leamington’s tweets went viral, suddenly getting thousands of likes, and not surprising considering how they worded it.
Meanwhile in the same competition, Aldershot Town have knocked out Solihull Moors (winning 3-2), Torquay United thumped Boreham Wood 4-0, FC Halifax Town were beaten 2-1 by lower league side Southport, Hereford coming away with a victory at Stamford (2-0), and Bromley drew 1-1 against Woking with the latter winning 7-6 on penalties.
Fans in their hundreds couldn’t help but react to seeing Leamington claim that the Kettering player was sent off for ‘hitting the ref’ before the match was then halted….
@MundeepD: Wtf, Sunday league shit!
@AsSowter: A very very very very long ban heading mcgrath’s way, one for assaulting a referee & one for criminal damage..
@TheMailmanUk: You look at the captain as a leader. A long ban potentially coming from Mr McGrath
@_drahcir1: Hi @LeamingtonFC – I can see here that the referee actually puts his hand on the player initially. This was not included in your update. Can you confirm why?
@daveangel1972: Would have knocked Audley Harrison out.
@will_i_am67: Physically pushed his arm away not acceptable in anyway can’t defend that behaviour
@JordanDParker: During a pandemic I think it’s reasonable to hit someone’s hand away from touching you
@AidanCorkerry: Oi @LeamingtonFC horrid bit of analysis there, trying to start a witch-hunt because the ref is a self entitled nob
@Declan_Hartigan: He shouldn’t have dug his finger into the player first. Another power hungry shit ref who was more than likely picked on at school
@fraseroliver17: Thoughts and Prayers to the ref after this heinous assault
@Nicklo2k: Looks like a lower league ref who wants to be the next Mike Dean by making sure everything is all about him. Ref shouldn’t call the player over and then put his hand on the player to shove him back. Player shouldn’t swat the ref’s hand away, but to send him off is atrocious.
@c_ellis92: Didn’t happen of the year award goes to @LeamingtonFC
The reaction continued after the Kettering player was sent off for ‘hitting the ref’…
McGrath now tampering with the lights?
— gc (@guyc_01) January 19, 2021
@MeeksyL: McGrath has probably punched out all the floodlights
@Carlos_1982: Ha what is going on at this game such a shame spectators aren’t allowed in this sounds pure entertainment
@adamguestwfc: If the game gets abandoned, McGrath’s red card never happens.
@J_Stonesss: think we all know who did it