Insulators v Dormansland Rockets – Sunday 19th February 2023 – Memorial Ground, Paddock Wood

This West Kent Sunday Football League tie was held at the Paddock Wood Memorial Ground. The ground sits at the back of the new primary school and is served by an attractive location, a decent grass pitch and a clubhouse.

Memorial Ground, Paddock Wood.

Dormansland Rockets came into the fixture in eighth place with nine points from eight games. The home side, Insulators FC, sat just one place off the bottom, with just one win and a draw from nine games.

League Table – Courtesy of

The sun was out bright and relatively warm, given how cold yesterday’s game by the sea had been. The game started well for Dormansland Rockets, with the away side looking sharp up front and going two ahead by the half hour mark.

The home side’s task was made harder when their centre forward was sin binned just before half time, for dissent. At the break the sides went in, with the score still Insulators 0 Dormansland Rockets 2.

After the break the Insulators FC side came out revitalised. On 59 minutes Insulators had a foot back in the game, when they were awarded a penalty for a late challenge in the box. It was neatly converted, to make the score 1-2.


In the 64th minute the match was tied when Insulators scored a headed goal, after a well hit through ball split the Dormansland Rockets defence.


Just four minutes later Dormansland Rockets were back ahead when they bundled the ball across the line, from a corner to make the score 2-3.


Insulators FC had another player sin binned for ten minutes again for dissent in the 77th minute. Then within four minutes a third player was sin binned for further dissent. It is frustrating to hear the abuse from players and coaches towards officials, who have given their time freely and are also allowed to make the odd mistake here and there!

The final minutes saw Insulators players (despite being just nine men) throw everything into getting an equaliser. In the final minute of added time the home side had a headed chance from a corner but despite being free of any challenge the finish was just hit agonisingly wide.

Final whistle.

At full time it was Dormansland Rockets who left with the points. The home side took it close but their indiscipline had cost them dear in this one.

As I was leaving the ground there was a scene which could be heard, and I went back in to find a reportedly unsavoury incident had taken place. Without seeing what happened, I can’t comment.

It is clear from what took place in the game today, with the sin binning of three players from the same team, that referees are still expected to make no errors and deal with constant criticism. This makes it hard to understand how sides at all levels are going to ensure the job of a referee stays attractive especially at the grassroots level. The other factor in this is that when I watch my team, Birmingham City, I only see decisions with Blue filtered eyes, the same decisions I’d see differently as a neutral, I feel always go against my team. It’s worth all of us remembering that. Watching games at the grassroots level, I rarely see terrible refereeing and yes there are a few obvious errors in every game, but that is always true of players and managers too.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. David Cooper says:

    Well said mate . I’m a grassroots ref but gave up men’s football last season because of the abuse. I now ref junior games . These still have their challenges especially from the parents 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mattbritt69 says:

      I bet. Today’s game was just poor as the refereeing was actually okay with a few errors here and there..but the abuse he received was just unnecessary. Plus when its team volunteers running the line the referee must feel even more isolated.


  2. philthesnapper says:

    This is a huge problem and will result in leagues having to shut down through lack of officials. I rarely attend a match, always as a neutral. without the managers, coaches and in some cases , club officials, screaming and swearing at the tops of their voices at the referees or linesmen. Often referees are tackled by spectators as they leave the field at half-time or at the final whistle and openly insulted and verbally abused without anyone stepping in to stop it. It’s getting worse I’m afraid

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mattbritt69 says:

      I do agree… I don’t know why they’d want to do the job!


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