Spotlight is on referee as Villa lose on the road

Shaun Gibbs had to be substituted due to a bad back
Shaun Gibbs had to be substituted due to a bad back

Controversial refereeing decisions dominated Euxton Villa’s 2-0 defeat at Vickerstown.

On a day that only saw two fixtures go ahead in the Premier Division, Villa soon found themselves behind as Dave Round gave the home side the lead.

Questionable decisions were aplenty on Saturday, and it was a contentious penalty decision which saw Vickerstown double their lead through Sean Patterson.

Villa has been up against it after keeper Shaun Gibbs hurt his back, which meant the returning Ryan Thompson, usually a centre-half, had to deputise in goal.

Mark McDonnell’s side had made a positive start with Dan Hogg seeing his effort go wide and Dan Birkby rattling the crossbar with a header.

Despite the dominant start, it was Vickerstown who took the lead after being awarded a disputed free-kick.

The ball appeared to hit the thigh of a Villa defender but the referee awarded a free-kick for handball, and up stepped Dave Round who expertly converted on the edge of the box.

With 10 minutes left in the half, Gibbs claimed a ball in the air and on his landing tweaked a back muscle.

He soldiered on until

half-time but had to be replaced by Thompson.

Sub Andy Leggett came on and was twice denied before the referee awarded Vickerstown a penalty despite their striker kicking the foot of Swift.

Patterson stepped up and hit his penalty into the bottom right-hand corner.

Villa continued to battle but they failed to break the stubborn Vickerstown defence down.

n For the second week running, Charnock Richard, Coppull United and Leyland United all saw their games abandoned.

This Saturday in the Premier Division, Andy Westwell’s Charnock Richard make the journey to Hesketh Bank while Euxton Villa travel to Lostock St Gerard’s.

Coppull United are without a game due to Norcross and Warbreck dropping out before the season started.

Leyland United welcome Millom in Division Two.

All games kick off at 2pm.