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Margate manager Jay Saunders reveals club have lodged complaint against referee Connall Bartlett following Velocity Trophy exit

Margate have submitted a complaint about the referee in their Velocity Trophy quarter-final exit.

Blues boss Jay Saunders said Connall Bartlett’s performance was one of the worst he’d seen.

Margate manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones
Margate manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones

Two major talking points centred on captain Ben Swift during Gate’s 1-0 defeat last Tuesday.

First, he was denied permission to come back on after a blood injury, during which time Horsham scored their seventh-minute winner.

He was later sent off for a supposed stamp, a decision Gate were expecting to see overturned on appeal.

Saunders said: “I don’t often make complaints about referees but he was one of the worst I’ve seen.

“Once you mark them at a certain level you have to put a report in, so we’ve done that, and Horsham were good enough to give us a video of the game.

“The referee struggled on the night.

“Swifty took an elbow to the face and was bleeding, he’s come off, the linesman’s said he’s fine but the ref didn’t let him back on and they’ve scored with their only shot.

“I don’t get what he’s seen for the red card.

“It was ridiculous. It couldn’t be more obvious there isn’t a stamp. I’d be amazed if it doesn’t get overturned.

“Ben was thrown to the floor, he gets up and pushes the lad, who then kicks out at him.

“Ben does nothing and then everyone runs in.

“I asked the linesman why he’d been sent off and he said they’d all agreed there was a stamp.

“I said, ‘did you see it?’ and he said ‘yes’ but he couldn’t have done because he was standing next to me.

“Even with 10 their manager said we were the better side but the referee had a big impact on the game.

“It’s a shame because it would have been nice to go through and have something to play for.”

Last weekend’s Isthmian Premier game at Leatherhead was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, with Margate back in action at home to Bowers & Pitsea in a mid-table clash this Saturday.

Saunders is hopeful Gills loanee Jimmy Witt will be fit after an ankle injury but Noel Leighton and Kadell Daniel are suspended and will be joined on the sidelines by Swift if the FA reject Margate’s red card appeal.

Gate won the away fixture 1-0 – one of only two clean sheets in the league this season.

Saunders said: “We put in one of our worst performances of the season but dug deep and got a 1-0.

“Other times we’ve played well and not got what we deserved.

“They’ve got some good players and a good togetherness about them.

“We have to match that and hopefully show some extra quality.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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