Gardner "embarrassed" to be in football after ref's decision goes against Aveley in 3-1 defeat

Thurrock Gazette: Millers boss Justin Gardner fumed at the referee's performance as his side lost 3-1 at Needham Millers boss Justin Gardner fumed at the referee's performance as his side lost 3-1 at Needham

By Scott Hatley

AN emotional Justin Gardner said he was “embarrassed to be a part of football” after a controversial decision cost his side a point away at Needham Market.

With the sides level on Tuesday night, following goals from Sam Newson and Mathias Bakare, the linesman signalled for an offside whilst the referee signalled for a goal kick.

But protestations from the Needham players convinced the referee to award a corner instead.

Almost predictably the hosts scored through Chris Hogg from the set piece and in the immediate aftermath of the goal Aveley’s captain Billy Holland – who had been substituted earlier in the game – was sent off for apparent comments made about the decision.

Those incidents prompted Gardner to ask his players to leave the field in protest, but they remained on the pitch as Needham sewed up victory with a break-away goal from Newson that only compounded Gardner’s misery.

Afterwards the Millers boss said: "I’m embarrassed to be a part of football when you see a decision like that."

Gardner then fired a warning to his side's next opponents Harlow Town.

"I feel sorry for Harlow on Saturday because those boys are hurt and I’ve said to the boys to use that (decision) as motivation."

Aveley sit 12th in the Ryman Division One North.

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