Hampton & Richmond Borough 3 – 2 Wealdstone
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Gordon Bartlett saluted the ‘worldy’ of a goal from Hampton’s Tom Hickey which denied his side a league and cup double on Saturday at The Vale. For the second time this season Hickey smashed home a wonder strike to beat the Ryman League Champions and clinch a 3-2 for the Beavers in the Middlesex Senior Cup Final.
Bartlett admitted it was a goal worthy to win any silverware. He said: “Tom Hickey’s goal was a fantastic strike, absolutely superb. He said it was his first one of the season, but I had to remind him he got one like that against us at the end of December, so he obviously saves them for us.” Wealdstone’s goals came from an early strike from Charlie Penny and then an equaliser from Sean Cronin just after the re-start before Hickey won the tie.
The Stones’ boss was though left baffled by the refereeing of Reuben Simon, in particular his decision to award Hampton the free-kick which led to their first-half equaliser. Reuben penalised Wes Parker following a clash which saw him receive prolonged treatment for a facial injury picked up from a flailing arm from his opponent. Never usually one to discuss referees Bartlett was critical of this decision and other antics from Reuben which he considered not fitting of a referee on such a prestigious occasion. He said: “They did not get a kick until the referee gave a foul against Wes for getting an elbow in his nose. That was just ridiculous. “The elbow has gone out and Wes has collected it. I’m sure the kid did not mean it, but the elbow has gone up, Wes has gone to head the ball and he has got it across the nose and he has given it the other way – how I don’t know. “From that they score and the game changes on that because it gives them a lift.
“I have done this for 30 years and it is probably the first time speaking to a reporter where the referee has been dominating my mind. I don’t talk about referees a lot. I don’t even know many of their names which says a lot. “As for his arrogance when he walked off and said ‘I was quality’ – referees just don’t say things like that.”
Defeat though failed to tarnish a great campaign for Stones who will spend the summer preparing for life in the Conference South. Bartlett added: “It has been a fantastic season where this would have been the icing on the cake, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”
Wealdstone: Malone, Hammond, Okimo, Parker, Cronin, Godfrey, McCubbin, Pigden, McGleish, Penny, Pett. Subs used: Bailey, Little, Malcolm. N/u: Dean, Bentley.
Report courtesy of Jon Batham, Harrow Observer
Steve Foster pics HERE
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