Sunday 13th November 2005

Football is about enjoying yourself, says disillusioned Fisk

Stunned Hythe Town manager Paul Fisk was left disillusioned when their Kent League Cup Group A opener was abandoned with just three minutes remaining at Park View Road yesterday, writes Stephen McCartney.

His side were just minutes away from registering a 4-2 victory at Erith & Belvedere before referee Mr J D'Arcy brought proceedings to a close after Lee Windfield became the fourth Hythe player to be sent off, joining Roy Godden, Jason Brazier and goalkeeper Paul Rogers on the sidelines - turning the game into a farce.

But in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Fisk insists his side turned up to enjoy a game of football and it was not a dirty game.

"We went to the game to enjoy a game of football and try to win," he said.

Hythe found themselves 2-0 up thanks to goals from Richard Sinden (5) and Roy Guiver (35) before Godden was sent off for two bookings on the stroke of half time.

Fisk explained: "The referee pulled Roy for what he thought was handball, which was debatable.

"Roy's questioned the decision and he's got booked and he's walking away talking to Richard Sinden and the referee's called him back and decided to send him off."

He added: "We were comfortably leading 2-0 at half-time.  We came out in the second half really in the game but the game turned towards the referee really.

"We turned up to play football and the one person who didn't agree with the football - the referee -  had other ideas.

"There wasn't a punch or any aggression shown during the game."

Hythe were reduced to ten men early in the second half when Brazier's actions weren't appreciated by the official.

Fisk added: "He made a challenge and in his, and everyone's opinion, the person who he challenged dived.

"Jason looked at the referee, laughed, and gestured to him that he dived and (Jason) dived on the floor, showing what he (Erith player) done.

"I think Jason has been booked for having a sense of humour.  It wasn't like Wayne Rooney (when he) clapped at the referee taking the micky. It was a bit of a joke.  Football is about having a sense of humour and enjoying yourself.

"In the second half Jason's won the tackle, won the ball and got sent off.  In my opinion he was sent off for having a sense of humour and making a tackle."

And nine-man Hythe went 3-0 up after 61 minutes when Damian Able took the ball past a couple of defenders and curled his shot into the top corner.

"When the game was played eleven versus eleven, both teams were competitive but there wasn't no-one over aggressive, it was a fairly played game," admitted shell-shocked Fisk.

Debutant Carl Bartley - a recent signing from Sevenoaks Town - headed home the Deres' first after 73 minutes but Hythe lost goalkeeper Paul Rogers two minutes later for a deliberate handball outside the penalty area and former Bromley striker Bartley grabbed his second goal past stand-in goalkeeper Dean Widnall - five minutes after scoring his first.

Speaking about losing his goalkeeper, Fisk added: "Paul's come for the ball on the ground.  He's got it and slid outside his area.  As he's come out of his area he's tried to let go of it."

And about the referee, Fisk said: "After he's sent two off, you'd think he'd use some common sense?  But it doesn't feel he has any."

Dean Widnall took over in between the sticks and playing five at the back, Hythe stole a fourth goal on the break through substitute Lee Widnall.

But he turned from hero to villain when (allegedly) kicking out at Deres' defender Lewis Tozer, he was the fourth and final man to receive his marching orders.

And with victory stolen away from his side, Fisk admitted all his players were left "devastated" inside the dressing room.

"The referee stole the thunder from the lads that worked so hard defending.  They defended for their lives and the referee's abandoned with three minutes to go - why?

"All the lads and myself are devastated.  We were trying to win the game.  We haven't had the best start to the season.  We think we've won and the referee's taken it away from us now.

"I think it was a great win for us and I would rather be speaking about the win and not the referee."

* Did you witness the events at Park View Road on Saturday, or maybe you were one of the match officials?

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