Weaver slams ‘swearing’ and inconsistent referee in Guiseley clash

Simon Weaver

Simon Weaver

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Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver has blasted referee Ryan Johnson for his handling of Boxing Day’s grudge match against Guiseley at the CNG Stadium.

Four penalties were awarded in the Skrill North contest as Town went down 3-2 to their West Yorkshire rivals.

Gavin Rothery scored three spot-kicks for the visitors and Town midfielder Adam Bolder also saw his attempt saved from 12 yards.

And Weaver said his side’s good work was undone by the official, who “wanted the stage for himself”.

He also accused Mr Johnson of shouting abuse at his players during the match and said the club would complain to the West Riding County FA.

“There was no consistency in the referee’s performance,” said Weaver.

“There’s evidence that he was swearing at our players. Say what you want about us as managers, we don’t call the referee names.

“He was calling a few of our players names. Where in the Respect campaign does that go?”

Steve Mallory and Shane Killock both scored as Town twice came from behind to level up the tie.

But Johnson penalised onrushing goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray late in the game and Rothery smashed home the winner.

“To give that late penalty, when Craig was adamant he got the ball, was the final kick in the teeth,” added Weaver.

“We are perhaps too quiet as a team. We have to learn to get round the referee more like other teams.

“Whenever there was a foul, their players were surrounding the referee and he was changing his mind two or three times.

“We speak of the Respect campaign but we don’t seem to get the rewards from that.”

The gaffer was also incensed Mr Johnson failed to show red after a “nasty” challenge on Michael Woods in the first-half.

“It was the worst tackle I have seen at the ground for some time,” he said.

“From early on when one of our lads got booked, I thought he has set his precedent.

“For that not to be a red cards was quite incredible.

“He definitely cost us three points.”

Town face fierce rivals Guiseley again on New Year’s Day.

Weaver’s men will head to Nethermoor Park on the back of three Skrill North defeats after losing 1-0 to Vauxhall Motors on Saturday.

Town will follow the trip to Guiseley with a home clash against AFC Telford on Saturday.

Read this week’s Harrogate Advertiser for more quotes from Weaver.