Ward admits he was wrong to "berate" referee following late penalty drama - EXCLUSIVE

Sunday 15th January 2006
Honest Ramsgate manager Jim Ward has put his hands up and admitted he was wrong to “berate” Eltham based referee Ian Crouch at the end of yesterday’s 1-1 draw at promotion rivals Tooting & Mitcham United, writes Stephen McCartney.

Stuart Vahid gave the Thanet side an early lead, capitalising on a mistake from Tooting’s goalkeeper but Ward was incensed at the final whistle when Mr Crouch awarded Tooting a penalty two minutes into stoppage time.

Striker John Hastings went down inside the penalty area between Edd Vahid and Liam Morris and Danny Twin scored a dramatic late leveller – upsetting the Scot.

Reflecting on his actions, Ward said this afternoon: “Superb game – a really proper football game – end to end stuff. We are a bit peeved that they’ve scored late on.

”I am, however, going to do something I don’t normally do – I am going to apologise to the referee.

”I was up in arms at the end as I thought it wasn’t a penalty – and I berated him.   I had a go at him at the end of the game on the pitch.
“But I’d like to apologise because my players said the lad did go over, although he made a meal of it, so it was no surprise he gave the penalty.

”So I put my hands up – I’m man enough to put my hands up and admit I got that one wrong!”

Despite internet speculation about his key players, that have helped the club consolidate a place in the top six all season, Ward insists the Southwood Stadium club have had “no approaches for anybody.”

And having played fellow promotion rivals Dover Athletic, Tonbridge Angels, Leatherhead and Tooting & Mitcham United recently – drawing them all – Ward demands three point hauls this week.

The Rams travel to Fleet Town on Tuesday night before Molesey – who travel to Cray Wanderers 24-hours later – visit Southwood Stadium next Saturday.

”We’ve played against all the top sides except Burgess Hill Town (which they beat 1-0),” said Ward.  “We’re still left in there with a reasonable chance of progressing.
”Fleet are one of those sides that have been doing well, apart from yesterday when they lost 3-1 at Molesey.  We need three points and I’ll be demanding them.

”So we’ll go there, same as always, no different.  Go there on the front foot, positive to try and get the three points.”

He added about their home game against Molesey: “It’s another team not in the top six, so again we’ll be looking for another three points.”

Fleet Town v Ramsgate
Ryman League Division One
Tuesday 17th January 2006
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Calthorpe Park, Crookham Road, Fleet