Westfield and Billingshurst embroiled in spitting row
Westfield manager Jack Stapley lamented '˜one of the worst things' he'd seen on a football pitch after last weekend's 3-3 draw away to Billingshurst.
Stapley claimed two Westfield players were spat at in separate incidents during the second half of the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division Two fixture.
The referee took no action after either alleged offence as he didn’t see them. However, Billingshurst player Kai Bichard was shown a second yellow card after the second alleged incident for delaying the resumption of play.
Billingshurst manager Adi Konieczny said neither he nor anyone he had spoken to had witnessed the alleged spitting. He added there had been a claim that a Westfield player had spat at a Billingshurst player, something which Stapley was completely unaware of.
Speaking of the alleged spitting at his player, Stapley said: “I think that’s up there with the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
The first alleged incident happened while Westfield were 3-1 up. Westfield midfielder Liam Ward was sent-off for his reaction.
“I’m not too sure what initiated it,” said Stapley. “There was a goal kick to us and next thing you know there’s a bit of shouting going on. Everyone looked round and Sam Ellis is wiping spit off the back of Liam Ward’s head.
“Liam reacted and I don’t condone his reaction, but I think a lot of people would’ve done the same thing. He obviously deserved the red card.”
The second alleged incident occurred in the immediate aftermath of Billingshurst levelling the scores at 3-3.
Konieczny said: “I didn’t see it and nobody I’ve spoken to, including the referee, saw it. The first I saw was an incident where the Westfield player got sent-off.”
As for the football, Westfield started like a house on fire and Ward put them ahead by smashing home the rebound after Sam Winter’s 25-yard shot was parried by the goalkeeper.
Westfield doubled their advantage 10 minutes or so later. Brad Owens released Ellis down the right and he beat his man before firing across the goalkeeper into the far corner.
The visitors were absolutely cruising at this stage and might well have been further ahead, but Billingshurst pulled one back before the break, Enobong Idiong converting a rebound after Westfield goalkeeper Joe Cullip made a good save from the initial effort.
Westfield started the second half positively and restored their two-goal cushion when Ellis drilled a shot from the edge of the box into the far corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Billingshurst got back to 3-2 when Cullip came for a free kick only for his own players to get in his way and the ball sailed straight in. Billy Lannon was credited with the goal and two minutes later Lannon levelled with a great header from a corner.
Westfield had a glorious chance to win it right at the death, but their only substitute, Martin Dobinson, who had come on for Stapley, lifted the ball over the crossbar from a couple of yards.
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