Professional foul rulings are being exploited, says Rail’ boss Miller

hsb  Railway Athletic Manager Billy Miller.  (120604M1b)
hsb Railway Athletic Manager Billy Miller. (120604M1b)

Harrogate Railway boss Billy Miller took a swipe at critical refereeing decisions causing havoc to football teams at every level.

Mike Morris became Railway’s second player this season red-carded for a first-half professional foul after he scrambled back four minutes into Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Mossley.

Dan Thirkell had a similar fate in the 4-1 loss at Lancaster City last month, and Miller criticised the ruling as a “double whammy”.

He said: “We lost a player and he gets banned from a free-kick that anywhere else on the pitch would have just been a free-kick.

“It’s wasn’t even a foul, it was handbags.”

The red-card was Morris’ first in his career and put Mossley well on top when they scored from the resultant free-kick.

The visitors then doubled their lead after 20 minutes before they missed a contentious penalty.

Despite Miller rallying his troops at half-time, Railway failed to dent the away defence.

The gaffer’s frustrations remained with the fourth minute decision and he said he had become tired of referees having their “hands tied” by the game’s laws.

He said: “I was around when that rule came in for the right reasons, because old-fashioned centre halves were stopping forwards playing.

“The rule is getting exploited at all levels. The referee said, as soon as he gave the free-kick he had to give a red.

“It turned into a flood of bookings because he had to book everyone for minor incidents. Someone, somewhere has to hold their hands up.”

“I just want someone to say I think I got it wrong.”