PLAYER-BOSS Andy Morrell believes goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi’s sending off was the turning point as Wrexham unexpectedly bowed out of the FA Cup following a 4-2 first round defeat against Alfreton Town at The Racecourse.
The game was all square at 1-1 when Mayebi was shown a straight red card on the hour mark for an apparent elbowing offence after taking a cross and Alfreton converted the resulting penalty before extending their lead to 3-1.
Although Danny Wright pulled a goal back for Wrexham, Alfreton scored a fourth but Morrell thought it could have been a different outcome had Mayebi stayed on the pitch.
“I hate losing football matches and even though it is the FA Cup, it doesn’t make it any easier,” said Morrell.
“It was a great start, 1-0 up, then there was the mistake. It bounced off Joslain but nobody has helped him out and followed it in.
“That knocked us a little bit but we were still in the game and doing alright. And then Joslain goes and does something. I haven’t seen it. I was in the box but there were bodies in the way.
“They were saying they were holding him and stopping him from throwing it. He was just trying to get off them. I don’t know if he actually elbowed him or what but it has changed the game.”
Mayebi, who has been called up by Cameroon for an international friendly against Albania in Switzerland on Wednesday November 14, will now be suspended for three matches but Morrell could appeal against the dismissal.
“We have got three lads on four yellow cards as well so we have got to be so careful,” said Morrell. “Losing Joslain is going to be big but Andy Coughlin will have to come in again and do his stuff.”
Alfreton finished the game with nine players. Dan Bradley, who had converted the penalty, was shown a second yellow card while Ben Tomlinson, the scorer of the third and fourth goals, also received a second booking for celebrating his final strike.
Morrell questioned some of the decisions made by referee Nick Kingseley.
“There were two identical tackles in the first half. He booked one but not the other,” said Morrell. “I can’t talk about the referee though because you get in trouble.
“It has gone now. I would loved to have had a nice little run in the FA Cup like last year but it is not to be. We will concentrate on the league.”
And Reds defender Neil Ashton, sent off for the same reason in last month’s victory at Stockport County, had some sympathy for the striker.
“I thought the referee had an absolutely shocker. I have never seen him refereeing before at this level and I think the game was far too big for him. He couldn’t handle the pressure and that cost us,” said Ashton.
“I know myself from celebrating and getting a second booking, I just think they are going to take the celebration out of football the way they are going.
“You can’t tackle any more and you can’t celebrate any more.
“It is disappointing on the whole the loss, especially the way we conceded goals, but the tone of the game was set by the referee who was poor.
“He let them get away with a lot. Their lad should have been sent off in the first half. The referee missed it and he then goes and scores the penalty for the second goal so you never know what would have happened there.
“Fingers crossed, when we have got Alfreton again in a couple of weeks, we have got a stronger referee.”