JOHN THIRKELL insists poor decision making from the match officials spoilt the Slough Town Senior Cup final on Good Friday.

Langley manager Thirkell had targeted a famous treble but the East Berkshire League club had the “carpet pulled from under them” in a 4-1 defeat to Thame Rangers.

Callum Hughes equalised for Langley before Chris Tierney was controversially sent off just before the half-time interval.

Thame led 2-1 at the break and made the extra man count in the second-half to win the cup for the third year running.

Thirkell told the Observer: “I tell my players never to argue with the referee because it’s a complete waste of time. I tell them to play the best you can and give it your best shot.

“That happened from both sides in the first half and everyone enjoyed it. In the first half, both sides did exceptionally well.

“Thame edged the first 20 minutes then we got in front of them and scored the equaliser.

“Then came one of the worst red card decisions I’ve ever seen in my whole life, as a player or manager. How it was given as a sending off I don’t know but it’s down to the referee’s discretion.

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“It spoilt everyone’s Good Friday because it was so difficult to raise spirits at half-time and the game changed in the second half.

“Thame got a goal from the free-kick after the red card but I thought the whole thing was crazy really. Everyone thought the same. We were left stunned and there was silence around the ground.

“Once upon a time the referees were seen and not heard but he spoilt the game, and the fourth official kept on entering our box to talk to substitutes about the decisions.

"I still can't get my head around the decision and it spoilt Friday for everyone.

"The even worse decision was in the second half when the referee changes his mind. We were turned down penalties for two-footed tackles and their keeper handled the box outside the box."

Thirkell continued: "Thame got their heads in front and won in the end, but even their manager said the red card spoilt the game.

"You could not argue who won the game, they made the extra man count, but I was disappointed for the lads and everyone who watched.

"In the end Thame won fair and square but we kept on battling and never gave up."

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