Braintree III 4 Clacton II 3

Division 8SEBraintree III 4 Clacton II 3What promised to be a thrilling contest between two evenly matched teams will be remembered for its controversy and officiating.

Division 8SE

Braintree III 4 Clacton II 3

What promised to be a thrilling contest between two evenly matched teams will be remembered for its controversy and officiating.

Braintree got off to an astounding start, scoring twice within the first five minutes, tearing apart a beleaguered Clacton defence and putting the visitors on the back foot straight away.


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Clacton's midfield attempted to fight back through Steve Key and Steve Hawes, but any time the Seasiders managed to build some pressure, the umpire's whistle intervened.

Controversy flared ten minutes into the game when John Hambrook muscled in for a challenge on Braintree's attacker, winning the ball, and simultaneously avoiding a punch swung by the opposing player. The yellow card was duly shown and Braintree were down to ten men for five minutes.

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Hambrook then proceeded on the attack, clawing a goal back for Clacton, and very nearly setting up a second. However, Braintree surged forward again, and, as ever, with the constant whistling of the umpire breaking play, managed to re-establish the two goal cushion. Stuart Perkins struck home just before half time to keep the visitors in touch.

The second half saw more of the umpire's whistle than before and when Nick Tedder-Ward attempted to enlighten the umpire on the rule book he was sin binned for ten minutes. Quarter of an hour later Tedder-Ward re-emerged only for the home umpire to decide that the penalty was not severe enough, ordering him off again. Clacton's experienced official enquired after the severity of the punishment to be faced by a volley of verbal abuse from the home team. Play then stalled as Clacton's umpire refused to continue under the circumstances and left the field. After much deliberation, the fixture was completed under protest and man-of-the-match Daniel Pritchard brought Clacton back within touching distance with five minutes to go.

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