Writer: Site Staff
Date:Sunday October 20 2013
Manager Graham Westley has explained that Stevenage were hit by food poisoning ahead of the game against Walsall, but his stomach was even more upset by the behaviour of the fourth official who intervened to get Lucas Akins sent off with a straight red card, despite the incident being missed by the officials on the pitch.
Stevenage went two nil down in the game before staging an almost comeback late in the second half, only to be thwarted by Akins' red card.
Speaking to The Advertiser following the game, the gaffer explained that the impact of the food poisoning was such that Simon Heslop couldn't even make the trip, and Michael Doughty along with a number of other players took to the pitch despite suffering bouts of diarrhoea ahead of the game.
'The day began badly, and I think the four or five lads who were feeling sick probably showed it in their first half performance. We couldn't get ourselves going.'
Westley admitted that when things like this happen, sometimes the best course of action is just to be open about it and you have to let the players take to the pitch, and then try and take positives from other things they do, as opposed to the physical effort they can put suffering from something like that.
Given most players were so short the obvious conclusion it the food poisoning came from something they collectively ate, and the club will be looking into that, but because of this he can forgive how we were physically off the pace and being unable to sustain that physical effort, there are other positives he will take from the match and he effectively encourages the fans to do so as well now they are aware of the problems we had.
Westley's main ire was that when the team improved with a few fresh legs, he believes it's the first time he's ever seen a fourth official make a decision like that and get involved in the game play - especially as to his mind it was Akins who was being fouled in the first place.
'So a most bizarre situation. And when a side is suffering physical difficulties, the last thing that you want is your side to be reduced to 10 men in such a bizarre way.'
Westley makes a number of other points about the fourth official, fans have no doubt read them or will, but I suppose we just have to refocus on our next game now.
Date:Sunday October 20 2013
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Trip To Donny In The Third Round (Wednesday December 11 2013)
Westley On Stourbridge & Swindon (Wednesday December 11 2013)
Stats: Swindon v stevenage (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Vital Stevenage Is Available! (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Stats: Stevenage v Stourbridge (Saturday December 7 2013)
Skipper Calls It How He Saw It (Monday December 2 2013)
Westley - We All Take The Blame For That (Monday December 2 2013)
Stats: Stevenage v Shrewsbury (Saturday November 30 2013)
Westley Looks Forward & Back (Thursday November 28 2013)
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