Former Colchester United professional Ollie Sims makes Cornard United return at FC Parson Drove with boss Gary Monti left fuming at ghost ‘goal’ equaliser
Cornard United’s recently-appointed manager Gary Monti has been left in limbo over collecting his first positive result in charge, describing the scenes which ended their game at FC Parson Drove as ‘farcical’.
His new-look Ards – with their former Colchester United attacker Ollie Sims among three more revealed signings to take his two-week tally to 10 – had come back from 4-2 down to lead 5-4 in Saturday’s eventful Thurlow Nunn League First Division North fixture.
But a power cut in the Cambridgeshire village near Ely saw the floodlights cut out in what the hosting club recorded as the fifth minute of stoppage time.
The referee abandoned the game but only after awarding a last-gasp equaliser for a 5-5 draw in the final passage of play, something which sparked heated scenes.
Monti, who left his Southend Manor South Division play-off chasers earlier this month to replace Jack Wignall at Blackhouse Lane, said of his second game in charge: "We still don't know what the result is, whether we are going to get the win or it's going to go down as a draw.
"We were 5-4 up and the ref had played eight-and-a-half minutes over the top and they were on the attack and got played in. Their striker got up for the ball, it went towards goal and then the lights went out.
"So no one actually saw whether the ball went in the net or not, and the ref has given it after talking to his linesman which I can't see how he can do. If the lights have gone out surely it must have put the goalkeeper off for a start?
"It's farcical. I thought the ref was terrible to be honest, he dealt with it really badly and then he just abandoned it after that as everyone was arguing."
He added: "As far as I'm concerned we won the game 5-4 and we've even got a picture from a Parson Drove photographer just before the light went off and the ball doesn't actually hit their striker's head, it hits his arm and goes into our keeper's hands, so it didn't even go in the back of the net.
"We've got a photo of that as well which we've sent to the Thurlow Nunn (League) and they're deciding on the 19th at a meeting what's going to happen about it.
"It's very frustrating as we had done so well to get back into the game and it was a bit of a kick in the teeth really."
One of Monti's new additions, Scott Kemp, had put his side in front with an early penalty before a spot kick up the other end towards the end of the half left the scoreline at 1-1.
Cornard – who had lost their last four league games to leave them 13th in the table – then managed to get themselves back in front from 4-2 down in a crazy second half with goals from Luke Spurling, substitute Billy Nasso and another from Scott Kemp added to by brother Tyler.
It was also a game which saw left-sided forward Sims make his return, having left Cornard, whom he joined after his release from a professional deal at Colchester United, for Step 4 Bury Town in the summer ahead of a short spell with their divisional rivals Stowmarket Town.
“He’s a local lad who wanted to come back and get involved again so we did everything we could to get him back,” explained Monti.
He also revealed defenders Connor Smith, previously with AFC Sudbury, Cambridge United and Basildon United, and Ryan Vickery, from Dunmow, as other new signings.
It comes as teenage striker Louie Arnold has earned himself a move up the pyramid to Bury Town, following the former AFC Sudbury Academy player netting 11 times across 21 games this term.
Monti said: “It’s a great opportunity for him. How much game time he will get I don’t know, but hopefully he will.”
Josh Cheetham, Jordan Blackwell, Connor Tucker, Brad James and Shaun Malarkey are among the other departures.
Cornard host seventh-placed Holbeach United on Saturday (3pm).