Oakham United lose to Leverington in Peterborough League Premier Division clash
Manager Seb Hayes admitted that Saturday's defeat had left 'a sour taste in his mouth' after a controversial late penalty saw his Oakham United side defeated at Leverington.
With the appointed referee withdrawing from the Peterborough League Premier Division clash shortly before kick-off, a replacement official was recruited from within the home club's ranks.
And it was his contentious call to award Leverington a spot kick with just a couple of minutes remaining that left Hayes insisting he would never play another league game without an official referee in charge.
He said: "I don't believe that it was a penalty and the reaction of my players told me that as well which makes me know that my feeling is right.
"To lose a game with a penalty given in the 88th minute by a home referee leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
"We agreed to play the game because we had travelled and were changed doing the warm-up when we were told that the referee wasn't coming.
"But, if that happens to me again, then we will go straight home because I will never do that again.
"I can't take anything away from Leverington's performance because they deserved to get something from the game.
"They caused us a lot of problems but I was just gutted that it was that kind of decision that decided who won the game."
Oakham's preparations for the match had been hit by three player withdrawals on the morning of the game which forced Hayes to name himself and assistant Rob Ames as two of their three substitutes.
They began brightly with Jacob Joyce hitting the crossbar and Michael Nelson going close while home goalkeeper Daniel Kimber - who has featured for Haverhill Rovers this season in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division - made the first of a string of fine saves.
Leverington then took the lead and enjoyed their best spell of the game by forcing six corners in succession as they looked to double their advantage.
Oakham then responded and finished the half strongly before levelling early in the second period when Nelson converted after a well-worked move.
United's top goalscorer then doubled their advantage with eight minutes remaining to put Oakham ahead.
However, the lead was short-lived as Leverington equalised before the controversial award of their late spot kick.
United felt that defender Louie Medwynter was having his shirt pulled at a corner and, as he looked to break free, the Leverington player went over in the box.
A penalty was awarded and duly converted to condemn Oakham to their second successive league loss.
They will now be aiming to avoid three consecutive defeats for the first time this season when they host Crowland at Lands' End Meadow on Saturday.