Harrogate Railway boss fires warning to feisty squad members

Lee Ashforth has issued out a warning to his Harrogate Railway squad over their conduct in Saturday’s fierce Yorkshire derby against rivals Ossett Town.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2015, 5:21 pm
Harrogate Railway boss Lee Ashforth, centre, was unhappy with the bust-up during Saturday's abandoned clash against Ossett Town

Tempers flared between the teams on two occasions in the all-action clash, which was abandoned at half-time due to the dangerous state of the Station View pitch.

Railway striker Dan Barrett was sent off for slapping an Ossett defender in the face in the 20th minute before both sets of players clashed in an shortly before half-time.

Jack Stockdill and Louie Horne were yellow-carded for Railway in the ugly exchange, while Ossett midfielder Ross Sheldon was also cautioned.

Ashforth lamented the actions of his two star players and said warned that any further misdemeanours would result in them dropping out of his side.

The Railway boss said :”I wasn’t happy with the way they conducted themselves on the pitch. They have both been told that. They were told as a squad that I don’t expect that kind of behaviour.

“Hopefully now that has been put to bed and we move on from it.

“It’s certainly not the way I want my team to be, massively in your face, bullying, causing teams problems.

Jack Stockdill scored Harrogate Railway's third goal but his tackle sparked an angry reaction shortly before half-time

“Yes, they have to look after themselves on the pitch and compete, but they have to draw the line. “Sometimes in football it is a fine line, and I just think on Saturday, a couple of individuals from us crossed it.”

Railway were on the verge of adding only a third win of the season after stringing together their best 45 minutes of football of the season.

Goals from George Mason, Lawrence Hunter and Stockdill had put ten-man Rail’ into a comfortable lead but heavy rain brought a conclusion to the fixture at the break.

Railway’s players were running out for the second half when referee David Storrie decided to call time on the match, which will now be replayed (report on page 141).

Louie Horne was booked during the heated exchange

Ashforth said he understood Storrie’s decision, despite it leaving his side in the Evo-Stik First Division North relegation zone and his players fuming with frustration.

The boss added: “If you had said at half-time and the score was 0-0, would we have argued about the game being called off? No we wouldn’t.

“I think we were just a bit disgruntled because we were 3-0 up as any manager as a team would be. You want to get the game played.

“Realistically, the referee has made the right decision. The only decision I think he got wrong was playing the game in the first place.

“I don’t think the referee was helped by the couple of incidents that happened in the first half. It probably put a bit in the back of his mind that it was going to be a feisty second half and it was probably in his best interests to call the game off. It’s one of those things, and we have to move on from it..”

Meanwhile, Ashforth has added Harrogate Town youngster Marcus Day and Ossett Town forward Chris Ovington to his Railway squad.

Ovington is suspended for Saturday’s trip to 12th-placed Bamber Bridge but Day could make his debut.