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Non-league footballer booked by referee for missing a penalty in cup game incident reminiscent of Robbie Fowler penalty for Liverpool v Arsenal

A non-league referee has defended his decision to book a footballer for dissent - for missing a penalty!

In the first such instance in the 107-year history of the Canterbury & District Football League, Phil Bing reached for his pocket after Thanet team Red Arrow’s Callum Hinde saw a spot-kick saved in his side’s 3-0 win against a depleted Wingham team in the first round of the league’s Challenge Trophy on Saturday.

The midfielder was cautioned after Bing - who has officiated in the league for 20 years - adjudged his tame spot-kick to be an act of dissent against the official’s controversial decision to award a spot-kick for a shove in the box, an incident which yielded no appeals from the Arrow players.

Bing said: “It was hotly disputed and maybe I was the only one who saw it, but the players ought to respect my decision, rightly or wrongly.

“The penalty-taker took this decision with the opposition before he stepped-up. It was ridiculous. If he’d put it over the bar or wide then I’d have probably let it go but he didn’t even take a run-up, he put his toe to the ball and rolled it along the ground to the goalkeeper.

“With 22 players and 20-odd supporters there watching, if I let that go my credibility goes out the window.

“You don’t want to see the start of players taking the law into their own hands.”

Mr Bing added: “It was not unsporting behaviour, in fact it was quite the opposite, but I felt the action was dissent against my decision which was my reasoning for the caution.”

FA rules state a booking for dissent can be issued for either a player’s words or actions.

Two goals from Nick Dawns and a Josh Peachy single sent the Islanders through to host Locomotive in the next round.

Hinde is not the first player to miss a penalty awarded in controversial circumstances.

In March 1997 Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler was awarded a penalty against Arsenal at Highbury after a challenge by England teammate and Gunners keeper David Seaman.

Fowler protested on Seaman's behalf to referee Gerald Ashby, admitting he had not been touched, a move which later won him a UEFA Fair Play Award.

The penalty however stood, and Fowler stepped up and sent a tame low spot-kick to Seaman's left, which the keeper saved, only for Jason McAteer to convert the rebound.

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