Sent-off Sheerin escapes blame

Joe Sheerin's red card cost Leatherhead a chance of repeating last season's run to the first round proper of the FA Cup, but the former AFC Wimbledon striker won the sympathy of coach Steve Wood.

Sheerin lashed out after being on the receiving end of a heavy challenge from Dartford skipper Adam Flanagan in the 30th minute of Saturday's tie, with the score 0-0.

Leatherhead went on the lose 3-0, but Wood believes referee Lloyd Wood got the key decision all wrong.

"The foul was so bad I couldn't blame Joe for retaliating - I would have done the same," said Wood.

"Joe was caught above the knee and it was a miracle he did not suffer a broken leg.

"The referee red-carded Joe, but let the Dartford player off with a yellow. He then re-started the game with a throw-in instead of giving us a free-kick."

Wood says it was another example of the "appalling" standard of refereeing at Ryman League level.

"There will be a spate of serious injuries unless foul play is stamped out," he added.

The Tanners lost skipper Neil Baker when his back problem flared up, while Lynvall Duncan (knee) and James Greenaway (ankle) are undergoing treatment ahead of this Saturday's trip to Worthing as Leatherhead look to end a run of four games without a win.

Sheerin's imminent three-match ban and Jamie Reid's departure to go travelling adds to the Tanners' woes up front as they struggle to replace last season's partners Dave Stevens and Marc Charles-Smith.

But Wood said: "We still have good strikers in Scott Forrester, Julian Thompson and Billy Marshall and I am confident the goals will come.

"If they don't we will have to look for someone else, but there is no reason to panic."

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