Gainsborough Trinity manager Liam King blasts late penalty decision “an absolute disgrace” after defeat at Warrington Town

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Fuming Gainsborough Trinity manager Liam King blasted the “unacceptable” level of refereeing as his side were dealt another promotion blow.

Trinity, already playing catch-up on Evo-Stik Northern Premier League play-off rivals Buxton because of the demise of North Ferriby, looked to going back into the top five when they led 1-0 at third-placed Warrington Town.

But then the hosts levelled before, two minutes from time, winning with a soft penalty.

Jack Mackreth went down in the area and the referee blew for a penalty, a decision angry King branded “a disgrace”.

The manager said: “The lads put in a really good performance and deserved something from the game.

“The (penalty) decision was a disgrace... an absolute disgrace. I am a very honest man and that decision was a disgrace. It is unacceptable at this level of football.

“Not one person in the ground appealed for a penalty.

“The referee hasn’t done right by the team (Trinity) to make sure it was 1-1. It is disappointing.

“In such a big game you need to get those calls right. Let’s be honest, when no one is shouting for (a penalty) you don’t give it.

“The guy tripped over the ball!

“We seem to be having a lot of bad luck at the minute such as the Ferriby thing, but the lads are coming out fighting.

“We looked well. We were solid and doing what we had been working on, and deservedly took the lead.

“In the second half Warrington did come into it, which is always going to happen when you come to a place like this. You have got to dig in and that is what the lads did.

“Then something like that happens. That is two decisions now that have cost us in two weeks (Trinity had an equaliser ruled out the previous week).”

It left the Holy Blues still three points and one place outside the play-off places as their rivals for fifth pace, Buxton, did not play. However, Trinity have now lost their game in hand on the Bucks.

They must go again against Hyde United on Saturday at the Northolme.

King added: “We have got to pick ourselves up. There are five games left and we are three points away from a play-off spot. We keep pushing and we have got to get a result on Saturday. There will still be a lot of twists and turns. It’s important that we don’t fall by the wayside.”

Trinity had led against their promotion rivals thanks to Ash Worsfold’s 21st goal of the season five minutes before half-time.

The prolific striker finished well from eight yards after an Alex Simmons effort was blocked.

Trinity held on throughout most of the second half, with keeper Joe Green making good saves.

But 18 minutes from time substitute Mackreth levelled and then in the closing minutes Marcus Cusani went down in the box and the referee awarded that controversial penalty.

Mackreth kept his cool after a long delay to beat Green from the spot and break Trinity’s hearts.