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28th May 2022

Wrexham manager slams referee after play-off semi-final defeat to Grimsby

Daniel Brown

Wrexham manager referee play off

What an incredible match it was

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson criticised the referee’s performance as his side were beaten 5-4 by Grimsby Town in the National League play-off semi-final on Saturday.

Grimsby secured their place in the play-off final with a dramatic extra-time winner to end Wrexham’s dreams of National League promotion.

The Dragons’ top goalscorer Paul Mullin gave the home side the lead with a penalty in the first half, but Paul Hurst’s side levelled through John McAtee, before Luke Waterfall put them ahead.

The Welsh side hit back through Tozer and Mullin to make it 3-2. However, the away side regained the advantage thanks to strikes from Ryan Taylor and substitute Mani Dieseruvwe. 

Jordan Davies equalised for Wrexham in the 80th minute to send the game to extra-time, with both sides pushing for the winner in hope of avoiding penalties. 

Grimsby captain Waterfall then scored a 119th-winner for Grimsby – who had beaten Notts County in extra-time in the play-off eliminator – to set-up a final against either Solihull Moors or Chesterfield at West Ham’s London Stadium on June 5.

The Mariners are now 90 minutes away from a return to League Two, while Wrexham’s absence from the EFL will now extend to a 15th season.

There was a number of controversial moments in the match, with both sides appearing to benefit from decisions throughout the tie.

Wrexham’s penalty was arguably soft, Grimsby were lucky to not concede another penalty (which was more a penalty than the first one) and Mullin’s second goal was pushed into the net with his hand. That’s just naming a few incidents.

After the match, Wrexham boss Parkinson slammed referee Adam Herczeg for being ‘out of his depth’ and criticised the decision to appoint him for a ‘match of this magnitude’.

Speaking to BT Sport, the 54-year-old said: ”Congratulations to Grimsby for going through to the final. Good players, great crowd in a league at this level. To have such a referee at a game of this magnitude is absolutely beyond me.’

”The referee was out of his depth. We had a goal which should have stood and should have had a penalty. I am hurting for them. I knew we could do better than we did today.”

Grimsby arrived at the Racecourse as the tie’s underdogs, with the home side having finished the regular season 11 points ahead of them and losing only once at home during the campaign.

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