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Devonshire baffled by referee's decision
Braintree Town were left with a bitter taste in the mouth as celebrations to mark their final home game of a successful Blue Square Bet Premier campaign fell rather flat.
Rather than joyfully looking back at an excellent inaugural season at this level, Braintree were left seething by a crucial decision in their 1-0 defeat by York City.
Referee Stephen Martin was the man who incurred the wrath of the home fans after his decision to send off striker Sean Marks in the 27th minute.
Having earlier warned and then cautioned Marks for some physical play in the opening 20 minutes of the game, Martin brandished a second yellow card in controversial circumstances.
Marks had latched on to an under-hit back pass and raced into the area, where he collapsed to the ground after seeming to have been tripped by York keeper Paul Musselwhite.
However, with the Iron fans anticipating a penalty kick for their team, Martin booked Marks for simulation and sent him for an early bath.
It wasn’t a decision that went down well with Braintree boss Alan Devonshire.
He said: “We’ve had some great performances at home this season, but it’s just disappointing that it ended like it did with all the fans here for the last game.
“Decisions like the one the referee made just drive me mad.
“I just don’t understand what he saw, I really don’t.”
Braintree defended manfully with ten men, but their resolve was finally broken in the 75th minute when substitute Erik Tonne slotted the ball into the net to seal a 1-0 win.
The three points have assured York of their place in the division’s top five and means they will figure in the end-of-season play-offs.
See the paper this week for a full reaction to Sean Marks’ sending off and for all the latest news on player contracts and preparations for next season.