League Two promotion chasers Crewe secured a 2-0 victory over League One side Accrington in the FA Cup – but the real story of an extraordinary game concerned the officials.
Referee Neil Hair limped off in the 22nd minute and was replaced in the middle by fourth official Alan Clayton.
Mr Clayton was injured at half-time and the interval lasted over an hour while both sides discussed how to go forward as neither of the injured officials could run the line and anyone qualified in the crowd had a bias to a particular side.
The second half ended up kicking off at 5.10pm, with the agreement of both managers John Coleman and Dave Artell, with assistant referee Danny Gratton taking over as referee and just one assistant Conor Brown.
It was decided on the toss of a coin which side he would officiate on, which was the Crewe half, while Mr Clayton went back to fourth official.
In the match itself, Chris Porter headed against the post for Crewe in the 12th minute with Jerome Opoku lashing a 25-yard strike against the crossbar in injury-time in the first half for Stanley.
From this, Crewe broke and in the second minute of first-half added time, Charlie Kirk got the ball in the area and fired past Dimi Evtimov, his strike going in off the post.
Crewe doubled their advantage when they were awarded a penalty by Mr Gratton on 67 minutes, after Opoku’s foul on Tommy Lowery, and Porter fired home the spot kick.
To make things worse for Stanley they were reduced to 10 men when Mark Hughes was sent off on 77 minutes for bringing down last man Owen Dale who was charging through.
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