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Another refereeing decision leaves Braintree boss riled
Braintree Town’s inaugural season in the Blue Square Bet Premier ended in disappointing fashion as promotion-chasers Wrexham beat them 5-1 at the Racehorse Ground.
Two late goals gave the scoreline an unflattering look for the Essex side, but boss Alan Devonshire was left seething by more controversial decisions by the officials.
Last week’s game against York City was soured by the referee issuing Sean Marks with a second yellow card for simulation and sending him off when Braintree felt he had been fouled by the keeper and should have earned a penalty.
And there were more contentious decisions in Wales. Having trailed 2-0 at half-time, Ben Wright brought the visitors back into the game by heading in from close-range from a cross by Jamie Guy, who was making his first Braintree start in more than 14 months.
However, poor defending proved costly and the Iron went 3-1 behind, before the first incident that riled Devonshire.
He felt Wrexham’s Steven Wright had clearly handled in the box, but it wasn’t a view shared by referee Declan Ford and the hosts then added late injury to insult.
They made it 4-1 with two minutes remaining, before Ford judged a challenge by Braintree full-back Aswad Thomas to be a foul in the box in injury-time.
Devonshire felt his defender had got the ball, but Ford pointed to the spot and Neil Ashton converted to make it a miserable last game for Braintree.
Devonshire said: “We’ve had a hell of a season, but you’re only as good as your last game.
“To end on that note is disappointing.
“We defended poorly and, again, decisions went against us.
“A penalty which may have brought us back into the game wasn’t given.
“Their fella as good as caught it in his hand and everyone in the ground knew it was a penalty, but we didn’t get it.
“Then Aswad (Thomas) makes a tackle, gets the ball and a penalty is given against us right at the death.
“We are lucky that the result of this game didn’t mean anything.”
See the paper this week to get full reaction to Braintree’s trip to Wales and all the latest news and exclusive views from the Iron.