Deeping Rangers’ current run of mixed results in the UCL Premier Division continued with a 1-0 defeat at Eynesbury Rovers at Alfred Hall Memorial Ground.
Steve Smith gave Rovers the win when he slid home a cross from the home side’s danger man Lee Bassett with just seven minutes left.
But all the headlines were made by referee Ali Shaaban who sent off two players, including Rangers striker Adam Scotcher who collected two yellow cards, booked another nine and sent Deeping boss Tuncay Korkmaz to the stands.
The Turkish tactician said: “It was always going to be a game where there wouldn’t be more than one goal between the sides.
“But it was spoilt by the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen where nobody knew what was going on.
“Both sides had given up playing football and we were all resigned to the fact that the game would be spoilt by the officials.
“Credit to Bassett for a moment of quality but it was a miserable football match.”
The home side started with the wind at their backs and quickly applied pressure with Jordan Nicholson getting to the goal line and his pull back was narrowly missed by the advancing Robert Ducket.
On eight minutes referee Shaaban yellow carded Deeping’s David Burton-Jones for an innocuous challenge that set the standard for the rest of the game.
Rangers were starting to find their way into the game and pressure saw Mohammed Hamid win possession and his through ball found Jezz Goldson-Williams whose touch lifted the ball over approaching home custodian Jamie Chamberlain but also the crossbar,
Rovers’ Steve Smith’s free kick found Darren Woodend at the far post but he could not direct his header on target. Teammate Lee Bassett progressed into the visitor’s box but found Spencer Tinkler and Dan Flack who thwarted the opportunity.
Home fullback Nathan Field clattered Goldson-Williams on the touch line, the referee played the advantage and before the phase of play had stopped Field again clattered Goldson-Williams – both challenges were worse than the one Burton-Jones was booked for but the referee showed Field only one yellow.
The football was scrappy – Deeping’s Scotcher collected the ball on half way and progressed towards the home box but could not find an end product while at the other end Nicholson twisted and got a shot away that was well blocked by Joe Braithwaite.
A swift Rangers break involving Scotcher and Goldson-Williams saw Scotcher drive a shot just too high and the home side’s Nicholson was again trying his luck only to shoot at Danny Bircham in the Deeping net.
Deeping’s Ben Lewis played Goldson-Williams free down the right, he fed Scotcher whose shot had Chamberlain scrambling at his post to tip around.
The half ended when home skipper Tom Coles pulled back for Steve Smith to shoot wide.
Deeping started the second half brightly with Lewis, Charlie Coulson and Flack involved in interchanges that found Flack free to cross where the arriving Scotcher could not quite stretch enough to get a decisive touch.
The home side were reduced to 10 players on 56 minutes when skipper Coles collected his second yellow and it became ten v ten twelve minutes later when Scotcher collected two yellows within two minutes.
Deeping should have had a penalty when Goldson-Williams was fouled by Woodhead in the box but instead Goldson-Williams received a yellow card for simulation.
Rangers substitute Matt Carter sent in a good cross that had home defender Dan Woodhead at full stretch to head clear as Deeping’s Jordan Avis approached.
The deadlock was broken on 83 minutes, Rovers’ Bassett broke down the left to pull back and find Smith in the middle of the goal to slide the ball home.
Eynesbury almost doubled their tally when Bassett capitalised on a breakdown on a Rangers move but his cross was well defended by Tinkler.
With the game into the final throes Rangers pressed for the equaliser – Avis got to the byline to pull back to Burton-Jones but his header was tipped over by the retreating Chamberlain and from the resultant corner Tinkler also saw his header tipped away by Chamberlain to secure his side all three points at the final whistle.
Deeping: Bircham; Flack, Braithwaite, Tinkler, Smith; Burton-Jones, Lewis, Coulson (Avis); Goldson-Williams (Tunstall), Scotcher, Hamid (Carter).
Sub not used: Palmer