‘Sort it out’ – Matt Henman, boss of Senior Cup finalists Dereham Town, hits out at Norfolk FA
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Furious Dereham Town boss Matt Henman has accused Norfolk FA of undermining the importance of their most prestigious competition.
The Magpies manager was sent to the stands by referee Darin Geary during Tuesday's controversial semi-final against a strong King's Lynn Town Reserves at The Walks. Dereham eventually came from behind to triumph 3-1 and reach their second Norfolk Senior Cup Carrow Road final in a row but Henman was still fuming at the final whistle.
He blasted the county's governing body for their part in the unsavoury saga which almost saw the last-four clash between the other finalists Norwich United and Gorleston replayed. And he didn't hold back about Geary's display either.
Henman, whose side lost 3-2 after extra-time to Wroxham in last year's showcase at the home of Norwich City, said: 'The referee's performance I don't think was against us. But the problem is there's too many times each bench are looking at each other shaking their heads. That tells you it's just not good enough. The problem is it keeps happening in this competition. I know the county want to put Norfolk refs in charge of county cup matches, and maybe that should be the case, but I think the competition, and the ties, deserve better than what we're getting.
'There was too many things both of us (teams) are not happy about. It's a shame because you don't really want to be talking about that.
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'I didn't come here to lose my rag and be sent up to the stand. And I'll say it publically, I think the competition needs a bit of a gee-up with everything that's gone on in the last year or two with it.
'Norwich City being in and out, what's just happened in the other semi-final and too many talking points in the final last year from officials. I just think it needs to be looked at.
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'I think it should be a valued competition but at the minute I think it's losing some value.'
Dylan Edge looked offside in the build-up to the Lynn goal while both Dereham penalties were hotly disputed.
The other semi was overshadowed by a row involving Norwich United's use of on-loan Lowestoft keeper Jake Jessup.
Norfolk FA ordered the game to be replayed but Gorleston, who lost the tie 3-0, declined the opportunity.
A Norfolk FA statement said: 'We are always open to suggestions on how to improve local football and if Matt or anybody else would like to put forward any constructive ideas on how to 'gee-up' the Senior Cup or the local game in general, as always we would encourage them to get in contact.'