Lancaster boss Mark Fell left frustrated by FA Cup exit, as FA overturn red card shown to Niall Cowperthwaite

Lancaster City boss Mark Fell has hit out at the officials after his side were dumped out of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 9:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 9:28 am

The Dolly Blues were looking in decent shape after drawing level with Morpeth Town at Craik Park in the first half.

However, the complexion of the match changed shortly before half-time when Niall Cowperthwaite was red carded for a professional foul on Carl Finnegan.

The incident led to Morpeth being awarded a penalty which they duly converted and in the second period, they made their numerical advantage count to run out 4-1 winners.

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Niall Cowperthaite (photo:Tony North)

Fell though was hugely disappointed with the referee’s decision to send Cowperthwaite off especially after he had initially waved play on only for his assistant to persuade him otherwise.

To make matters worse Cowperthwaite's sending off has since been rescinded after the FA watched a video of the incident.

“It was the most ridiculous sending off that I have ever seen and I fully expected the FA to overturn Niall’s red card,” said Fell.

“The referee was 10 yards behind the incident and he has waved the game on – I can hear him from 60 yards away saying that it’s not a penalty.

“But then a few second later, the linesman is flagging and has told the referee that Niall has used excessive force.

“I have watched it back and there’s no excessive force, there’s hardly any contact.

“The worst thing about is it’s not even a goalscoring opportunity.

“I have watched the highlights and listened to Morpeth’s commentary – even their commentators are saying, ‘What’s going on here?’

“Even though I expected the FA to overturn that decision, we are out of the FA Cup.

“I am really frustrated, annoyed, upset about because it shouldn’t be like this.”

The fact that Morpeth were also handed a penalty added to City’s sense of injustice.

Fell added: “There is meant to be this double-jeopardy rule and that the incident had to be a clear goalscoring opportunity.

“But how could it be? Our goalkeeper Matty Alexander had his hands on the ball and their player would not have reached it even if he had not have gone down.

“Andy Teague was stood next to it, so how was it a clear goalscoring opportunity?

“The frustrating thing is we were right in the game, we were on top and then that happened.

“We had to go a little bit after the game and had two great chances in the second half and if we had stuck one of them away, things could have been different.

“Ultimately, there was no point in us trying to contain them and stay in the game.

“We went after it and we left the back door open effectively.

“I have no regrets with how we went after the game in the second half.”

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