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Brackley 1 King's Lynn 1
4th August 2004
LINNETS manager Carl Heggs blasted referee Mr Russell after Jordan Smith saw red in Lynn's penultimate pre-season friendly at Brackley on Tuesday night. Smith was dismissed for a tackle on Brackley's Wayne Blossom in the closing stages of a competitive 1-1 draw
His early bath came after Gareth Sheldon and Brackley defender Danny Spencer had already been substituted for an earlier altercation on the say-so of the match official.
A furious Heggs said: "I respect anyone in football because I know how tough it can be as a player, manager or an official, but he was the worst referee I've seen in all of my years in the game.
"It wasn't a dirty tackle tackle at all and Jordan isn't a dirty player, but the referee has decided to send him off and include it in his match report.
"I went into the referee's rosin after the game with the Brackley manager and his assistant and all of us asked him not to include it in his report but he has told us no.
"Why couldn't he have asked me to substitute Jordan like he did with Shelly earlier in the half? He is now going to be suspended for the start of the season and lose two weeks wages and he is one of my better players. I'm gutted for the lad." The Linnets fell behind in the first minute through Tom Winters but drew level by virtue of a Sheldon penalty four minutes into the second half.
On the game, Heggs said: "I thought we were excellent at times. We were caught cold and conceded a goal in the first minute but were the better side after that, especially in the second half.
"We played at a high tempo and as I've said before no side of mine will ever go out on a football pitch and not give their all.
"It was a competitive game, played at a high tempo and both sides were desperate to win it."
It was a case of handbags at dawn between Sheldon and Spencer, but Smith's red card proved to be the final straw as both managers called a halt to the proceedings with three minutes left of normal time, following a touchline conference involving Heggs and his opposite number Jon Brady.

Brackley (starting XI): Morris, Ereen, Duckett, Blossom, Mcllwain, Burgess, Anderson, Kearns, Rawle, Mackey, Winters.
Lynn: White, Magunda, Murray, Johnson, McAughtrie, Boyce, Storey (Martin 72), Lloyd, Sheldon (Robinson 68), Birley, Green (Smith 45). Subs not used: Webb, Rose, Whatsize.
Report by permission of the Lynn News