Frustrated Teversal’s dreams of qualifying for the FA Cup next season are in doubt after a costly defeat away to promotion-chasing Bottesford Town on Saturday.
Teversal need to finish in the top half of the Toolstation Northern Counties East League’s First Division to be sure of a place in the world-famous competition.
But a 2-0 reverse at the hands of the third-placed Scunthorpe outfit left them needing a minimum of 13 points from their six remaining league games.
Adding to their woes was a sending-off for substitute Craig Newton, who was only introduced to the fray at half-time. Newton received a yellow card in the 68th minute when he reacted after home playmaker Terry Barwick stopped him taking a quick throw-in. And he saw a second yellow in the dying minutes when making a comment to Polish referee Jerzy Banasik over a contested throw-in.
However, Teversal were angered by both decisions, claiming that Barwick was delaying the restart of the game in the first instance and querying whether there had been a possible language-barrier breakdown in communications for the second because Newton said nothing more serious than “he’s had our pants down there, ref”.
Either way, the visitors felt that Banasik’s decisions capped “a totally unacceptable” performance by the referee throughout. Secretary Kev Newton said: “He simply failed to control the game, which led to frustrations in both camps.
“It was unfortunate that the referee’s performance became the main talking-point, rather than what was a good, competitive match.”
That match set off at a fierce, high tempo, with no quarter given. Both sides defended solidly before the first open chance came in the 26th minute when Martin Pembleton fastened on to a through ball from Josh Nichol for Bottesford, only for alert ‘keeper Dale Sheppard to race off his line and block the striker’s effort.
Teversal weren’t to be outdone and a patient passing move resulted in a side-rule pass by Sean Dickinson finding Khyle Sargent, whose 20-yard drive had ‘keeper Leigh Herrick scurrying across his goal and flew marginally wide of the angle.
Bottesford clipped the outside of a post when Tom Moody made a timely tackle to half-deny Pembleton, and Sheppard had to be on his mettle again with an impressive save to deny Danny Boulton.
The referee continued to spoil proceedings with his interventions and failure to clamp down on industrial language. But the home team’s exasperation turned to relief in the 63rd minute when they broke the deadlock. A quick throw-in found veteran Wayne Graves, who turned and saw his deflected shot from 18 yards hit the inside of a post before trickling over the line.
Teversal’s hopes were killed off by a second goal 13 minutes later when teenager Moody made a rare error of judgement in mistiming his interception of a long punt forward. The ball bounced over him and was rolled by Graves in inch-perfect fashion across the six-yard box for Nichol to tap home.
The result kept Bottesford three points behind second-placed AFC Mansfield with a game in hand and meant their promotion hopes are still firmly alive. Teversal now look forward to an Easter double-heeader with a home game against Glasshoughton Welfare this Saturday, followed by a trip to Grimsby Borough on Easter Moinday (both 3 pm kick-offs).
TEVERSAL LINE-UP -- Sheppard/ Hempshall (Newton 45), Staniforth (Burton 84), Gregory, Fisher (man-of-match), Sargent, Moody, Dickinson, Dawson (Short M. 72), Weaver, Atkins. SUBS NOT USED: Short D., Charlesworth.