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Penalty decision baffles boss as Fleet keep clean sheet

With Fleet denied a penalty 20 minutes from time at the end of last night’s Kent derby, that was the obvious talking point for the home side post-match. Dennis Kutrieb couldn’t help but be frustrated by that decision but also praised his defence’s clean sheet on the night.

“After the game, I would say we dropped two points, but it was a tough game and we knew before that we would get a tough game today,” said the Fleet boss. “We didn’t get many chances, I counted two big chances for us. And of course the penalty. I watched it on the video after the game and can’t understand it. When the referee has his line that every touch is a free-kick everywhere on the pitch, then he has to do it as well in the penalty area.”

Kutrieb has pointedly refused to get involved in talk of match officials in post-match interviews but when asked about it compared to experiences in Germany, he was disappointed about some of the decisions he has faced this season.

“It’s far away from the same [standard],” he explained. “I don’t want to talk about referees all the time because I hear other managers from the league, all of them shouting about the referees because they are weak or they don’t give penalties, they don’t give red cards and everything else, so I don’t want to take the same line. But to be honest, in Germany the referees are better so when they have one line and give every touch a foul, be that a derby [game] or whatever, he gives [the decision] all over the pitch, every time.

“The penalty box, the linesman is 10 yards away, he can only have to have seen it. They don’t have to play football, they only have to watch and use their eyes. I don’t know what they think or what they saw or didn’t see, but it doesn’t matter now, it’s gone. We got a draw, and we have a clean sheet so we have to keep going on Saturday, score goals and do it better.

“So, yeah, it’s frustrating, but it is what it is. We get a draw and the positive is the clean sheet. I ask the boys every week for clean sheets to get the right mentality to defend better, don’t concede easy goals and today it was much better from the defence side. But when we have two or three chances, we have to score one and then you win the game.”

The skipper manages a smile despite the bloodied sock

Skipper Lee Martin kept Fleet’s medical team busy at half-time following a tackle by Joe Ellul in the first-half that required treatment, Martin having indicated to the bench he might need stitches before playing on through the pain.

“It was a big injury, his whole boot and the socks, full of blood and it was a big cut,” said Kutrieb. “But they fixed it at half-time and then he can go out and give a good impact in the second-half. I think it was a problem for him in the first-half, you can see that he was not really on fire, but later in the game he was and he gives us a good impact.

“We’ll see [on Saturday] with Lee Martin and about the other boys. Now it’s recovering for the next two days and then we will see who is fit enough to play on Saturday against Tonbridge.”

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