‘REF justice’ was the cry from Tenbury’s two premier football sides after decisions cost them league points and cup progress respectively.

Tenbury United boss Aaron Morris felt the match official ‘lost control’ of their Herefordshire League Division One six-pointer with Ross Juniors, who he accused of some ‘leg-breaking’ challenges.

Tenbury Town, meanwhile, were beaten 4-2 at Worcester side Hanley Swan in the Worcestershire FA Minor Cup quarter-final, with gaffer Keiran Fish equally unimpressed.

“They had a bit of help from the referee,” raged Fish. “He was by far the worst referee we have ever had and I’m not just saying that because we lost.

“You have to score the ref for every game and I gave him 40 out of 100. It’s a difficult job but you have to have some sort of control over the game and he just didn’t.”

One of Fish’s main bones of contention was the official’s failure to send off the Swan keeper for a professional foul on Al Bright, who “he cleaned straight out,” at 1-0 to the hosts.

The official compounded the error by failing to play advantage as Dec Bright swept home the loose ball – and the Swan keeper, still on the pitch, saved Dean Morris’ spot-kick.

Swan went on to lead 4-0 before a Town fightback – with goals from Simon Morris and Fish – fell short as their last chance of cup glory this season disappeared.

Fish added: “We couldn’t believe the ref didn’t play advantage and brought it back for the penalty. It should have been 1-1 and their keeper sent off – it would have been a different game.”

United, meanwhile, maintained top spot in Division One with the draw at Ross in an ill-tempered affair in which a home player was sent off late on, reportedly for repeated dissent.

Chris Patton’s goal and keeper Steve Summer’s penalty save earned a point but United boss Morris fumed: “There were some real leg-breakers in the first half and the ref didn’t even book them.”

United host lowly Hereford City on Saturday while Town are without a game until February 11, meaning they have to fit 17 games into the final two-and-a-half months of the season.