Early Doors

Cup game ends after team refuses ‘boozy’ replacement referee

Early Doors

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An FA Trophy game ended in truly bizarre circumstances on Saturday when the match referee was forced off due to injury and a replacement picked from the crowd was prevented from taking over because alcohol was smelled on his breath.

Colwyn Bay were losing 2-0 to Altrincham when the referee in charge of the fixture between the two Conference North sides fell victim to a calf injury and was unable to continue.

With only seven minutes remaining at Colwyn Bay’s Red Lion Foods Stadium, an appeal was put out over the loudspeaker for a qualified official to make themselves known in order that the game could be finished.

However, when a grade 5 qualified referee did just that, Colwyn Bay refused to continue on the grounds they suspected the man had been drinking, as confirmed by Altrincham’s official Twitter feed.

Altrincham were left upset by Colwyn Bay’s actions, especially as they also offered assistant coach Ian Senior as a replacement linesman – a scenario which was also deemed unpalatable by the home side.

Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley told the BBC he felt the match should be awarded to his team: "I hope common sense prevails. We hope we don't have to come back for seven minutes. We were dominating. They should award the game to us.

“There was an announcement asking if there was an official. We put forward a fan [to run the line], who is a level-five qualified referee. Colwyn Bay turned that down. We put forward our assistant to run the line. They refused that. They would not put forward anyone themselves. It's a poor show."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Colwyn Bay are hoping the game gets replayed in full on Tuesday, with manager Frank Sinclair telling BBC Five Live: "You can't just have any Tom, Dick or Harry come in and finish the last 10 minutes of the game.

"There was no-one on our side that had any officials' badges. One of their staff said he would see the rest of the game out with no qualifications. It's human nature that if there was a big decision to make, we wouldn't have got it. I've been within my rights to not agree to carry on."

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