Captain's blog: Falmouth Town versus Torpoint Athletic match ruined by moaning away supporters (From Falmouth Packet)
Captain's blog: Falmouth Town versus Torpoint Athletic match ruined by moaning away supporters
As the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League season kicked off on Saturday, I decided to take in a local game of football at Bickland Park.
I don’t want to specifically pick on the Torpoint spectators. I have not seen their side play often and I don’t know if this is a common trait amongst their fans. I’m also sure there are other clubs around the county who have fans that shout at the referee when a decision goes against them, but at Bickland Park on Saturday, it was an incessant whinge.
And it wasn’t as if the referee and linesmen had a bad game. Other than a strong aerial challenge from a Falmouth midfielder that went unpunished, late in second half, I couldn’t see a decision they got wrong.
However, that wasn’t the case for the Torpoint fans. By the 25th minute they had complained about the linesman's flag going up on at least two occasions. Then their striker was put through on goal again and chipped Falmouth keeper Jason Chapman. He looked a good two yards off-side, but still the away fans shouted 'another one, you’ve have got wrong lino'.
Added to that midway through the first half Falmouth Town’s Jamie Devine went into a strong challenge in the middle of the park. Yes it was a free-kick, which was rightfully given by referee Kevin Knowles. However, that wasn't enough for the Torpoint fans, who called for the player to be booked.
This is something that I have never understood people doing at this level of football. This is because the players, who aren't on the wages of Premier League footballers, actually get fined for bookings. It hits them in the pocket.
If the referee doesn’t think it is a yellow, why appeal for the player to be booked? Instead you could just go to the nearest car park and point out, to the parking attendant, all the cars that haven't got a ticket.
That way you could be a miserable snitch to numerous people you don't know at the same time.
I imagine this complaining is done to try and intimidate the officials. The fans obviously feel that if they complain about every decision, like Liverpool players used to do in the 1980s, the referees will go easier on them.
However, I don't find that logic to be the case anymore. In the games I have watched at a local level, I often see the sides that badger the referee early on in the game getting the 50/50 decisions
go against them later on.
It proved to be the case in the Falmouth match as the linesman, who had been criticised at every opportunity, held his nerve to punish a push in the back of Falmouth's Mark Vercesi in the 92nd minute.
It saw Falmouth grab an unlikely equaliser just before the final whistle blew.
However, that was not the end of the ugly scenes in the stands, where both sets of supporters had now started to bicker, as fed up Falmouth fans had told the opposite numbers to be quiet.
Some Torpoint spectators, annoyed by the late equaliser, shouted at the linesman before leaving the ground disgruntled.
However, another waited until the officials left the pitch and entered the grandstand before shouting 'cheat' at the referee.
The referee responded by calling his actions 'embarrassing'. It is hard not to agree.
Were you at the game? Do you agree with the Captain's views. Leave your comments below.