Bourne Town have another player sin-binned as Harrowby United take full advantage in United Counties League Cup clash
Bourne fell foul of the newly-introduced sin-bin rule for the third time this season after being hit for six for the second successive match at Harrowby United on Tuesday night.
Carl Benson was forced to spend 10 minutes of the Kitman UK United Counties League Cup clash on the sidelines - after trying to bring the referee's attention to some dog mess on the playing surface at the Environcom Stadium.
His sin-binning, when the game was goalless, allowed the Arrows to make the most of their one-man advantage by taking the lead after a bright opening from Bourne who had gone into the tie after a 6-0 home reversal against Wellingborough Whitworth in Saturday's Division One clash.
Despite being back to full-strength for all of the second period, Harrowby hit five goals without reply in a stunning second half salvo.
But the decision to sin-bin Benson at a crucial spell in the game left Bourne boss Rob Middleton questioning the interpretation of the new ruling which was only introduced at the start of this season.
Middleton said: "It was a hard one to take really.
"I understand that the new sin-bin ruling has been brought in to cut out foul and abusive language at officials.
"Unfortunately, and I don't want this to sound like sour grapes because we've lost, but one of my players was trying to bring it to the referee's attention that there was some dog muck on the pitch on Tuesday night.
"There is obviously health and safety issues to think about and my player was simply making the referee aware of it.
"But he has been sin-binned for it. He has been sin-binned for nagging the referee. There was so foul and abusive language used.
"That's the third one we had this season already - one was for calling an opposition player for diving and the other was for asking a question to an assistant.
"Some of the decisions have been farcical.
"We were shocking against Whitworths on Saturday, but that was nothing to do with the referee who spoke to the players when he had to and used common sense.
"He was a gentleman, but other referees can't be spoken to and are using the sin-bin rule like an iron fist.”
Middleton had been buoyed by how his side had started the cup clash as they sought their first victory of the new campaign.
A bright opening had seen them create a couple of decent chances before Harrowby took advantage of Benson's sin-binning to take the lead.
Middleton added: "Harrowby are a top four team on Tuesday night's showing. They are a very strong, attacking side who have recruited well.
"With it being a cup game, we used it as an opportunity to try a different system and formation.
"I wasn't happy to go there and just put men behind the ball. I wanted to try and find different ways of using our threats when we had possession.
"We played some really good football in the opening 10 minutes. We had a lot of possession.
"Harrison Dee had a very good game in central midfield and Jake Showler was a real threat up front with his lightning pace.
"We tried to keep it tight by working hard, but the pressure told after the sin-binning and they scored.
"Everything was positive even though we were 1-0 down. Our first half was the best performance of the season.
"Harrowby pressed us at the start of the second half and they got their second goal. We looked mentally strained and they scored four more goals in 20 minutes.
"Having said that, we recharged ourselves for the last 15 minutes and really gave it a go again so there are positives for us to take from it.”
More by this authorJames Bedford