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Players and officials fuming as referee abandons match with score at 5-0 and minutes remaining

Players and officials were left fuming on Tuesday night as one referee abandons a non league match with score at 5-0 and minutes remaining.

Bury Town had been cruising to victory against Witham Town in their first home game of the Isthmian League North Division season with a sold out limited attendance of 400.

However that impressive performance and scoreline is now wiped away from history, a blow to the Suffolk outfit.

Prior to this game, Witham was thrashed 7-0 at home to Hullbridge Sports and the Blues knew how to take advantage of their defensive weaknesses with a superb performance.

There had been fog lingering for most of the night, but it was only in the second half that it got worse at Ram Meadow, which subsequently caused the official called over the managers after speaking to the assistant and blew for the game’s end.

The decision left a sour taste with the Bury Town squad while there were smiles on Witham Town players’ faces that only infuriated the hosts further.

Manager Ben Chenery could be heard shouting how it was the ‘most naive decision’ he had ever seen and asking ‘what can’t you see anymore on this pitch’ after fog soon lifted.

It was too late to get the game back on however with the decision already been made and the sell out crowd already making their way for the exits.

Jake Chambers Shaw with his brilliant finish in the 14th minute put Bury town 1-0 up, before added to by Cemal Ramadan doubled their lead around half an hour into the game.

Minutes later, a low strike from Olly Hughes from the edge of the penalty box made its way into the back of the net to make it 3-0.

Chambers Shaw scored from a great cross sent in by Connor O’Reilly in the 54th minute, and then he completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute, hitting the underside of the crossbar and in it went from more than 25 yards out.

“It was a crazy and a naive – whatever you’d like to call it – decision by the referee,” blasted Bury Town boss Ben Chenery.

“The referee has to be accountable. We are in the middle of a pandemic, and we’re not replaying this match because we can’t fit another one in!

“The club are working so hard to get these games on, and to get these people in, and we are 5-0 up with just seven minutes remaining!

“We are about to win a league game when the referee decides to call off the match when the fog was no worse than it had been throughout the whole game.

“The referee told me that he had made his decision and that I am not to argue with him, because the linesmen cannot make correct decisions (because of the fog).

“I have never come across anything like this, in my whole career as a player and a manager, and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

“It is a real kick in the teeth!” added Chenery.

Chenery added: “To be honest, the referee did not know what he was doing.

“I asked the referee when we went in – ‘can we give it 10 or 15 minutes and bring them (the players) back out? – but he said ‘no, I have made my decision.’
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“That was another incorrect decision, because you should wait for 10 or 15 minutes before you call a game off, so he’s made that wrong decision.

“He’s then tried to justify it, but he couldn’t do that. He should have said that he got it wrong.

“It was just the most outrageous decision that I have ever come across in football, ever! I’ve got no answer for it.

“I’ve had occasions in my (playing) career when we have gone off, but we’ve left it for 20 minutes. I remember a match at Halifax (playing for Cambridge United) when we went off and then came back on when it (the fog) cleared.

“There was only seven minutes left, we needed to be sensible. The game was done, and yet Witham players were trying to get the game called off.

“We have worked so hard to win games. The effort my management team and players have put in to get results like this is immense, and yet we have people who are not up to the job.

“The fog did not get much worse in the second half. I’m lost for words.

“It looked to me like the referee was out of his depth when he made that call. He didn’t take control of the situation and say that we will walk off for 10 to 15 minutes.

“There were no need for that decision to be made, and I call on the FA to have some bravery, because this result has to stand.

“We can’t do this again. Why should we have another football match when the chairman and board have worked so hard to put this on.

“We sold fully out (crowd of 400), and it’s a sickening blow, after what was such an entertaining game of football.”

There was another match abandoned due to fog last night, visibility much worse as can be seen below…

Fans reacting after seeing that players and officials were left fuming as a referee abandons the match with the score at 5-0 and minutes remaining…

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