Badshot Lea manager Gavin Smith was frustrated with the referee’s performance after his side lost 2-1 at Isthmian League South Central Division champions Chertsey Town on Saturday afternoon.

The Baggies took the lead in the tenth minute when Lamin Ceesay’s shot was saved and Kareem Akinnibi reacted quickest to score from the rebound.

The visitors were reduced to ten men on 51 minutes when Akinnibi was shown a second yellow card, and Chertsey made their numerical advantage count when Gianluca Botti equalised in the 78th minute. Botti then scored the winner on 87 minutes to give the champions the three points in front of a crowd of 1,244.

Smith was delighted with his side’s performance, but couldn’t hide his disappointment with the referee’s display.

“We produced a really good performance but unfortunately the referee has cost us,” said Smith. “I’m fuming. Kareem’s sending off was never a second yellow card. I don’t think it was even a foul. No one in the ground knew what was happening and even the Chertsey bench were surprised by the decision. The referee explained to me his reason for making the decision, but I don’t agree with him. Josh Keeya has done the same thing ten minutes later and not been booked for it.

“Chertsey have had a fantastic season and have deservedly won the league. They have players with great quality who can make the difference in games, but I thought we were the better side on the day. We deservedly went 1-0 up and we had opportunities to make it 2-0. Even when we went down to ten we still had chances.”

The Baggies finished in 11th place in the first season in the Isthmian League South Central Division, having picked up 54 points from their 40 league games.