Speedway: Inconsistent refereeing decisions cost Sheffield a chance of a KO Cup lead, says Tigers boss Stead
Boss Simon Stead admitted any hopes of a KO Cup lead were dashed by inconsistent refereeing decisions.
The Sheffield Window Centre Tigers were involved in a thrilling clash with Glasgow which ended in a 45-45 first leg draw.
It leaves them a huge task to progress, needing to win at Ashfield in the re-arranged second leg after it was rained off on Friday.
Stead was clearly disappointed but defiant after the cracking match. He said: “It’s a tough one to take. We felt that Ty Proctor should not have been excluded after getting a knock on the first turn in heat nine.
“Then there was a similar incident in the last heat with Glasgow’s Claus Vissing coming down, but the referee didn’t exclude him.
“At this level you just need consistency and we don’t feel we got the rub of the green today. It’s extremely disappointing.
“But we can’t let it affect us. This is only the end of the first half. We start equal at Glasgow and we are perfectly capable of winning at Ashfield.
“We have guys who ride Ashfield just as good as anyone and I believe with a bit of luck on our side, we can get the result we need to go through.”
It was a cracking encounter at sun-kissed Owlerton. But it was the visitors who took the tie by the scruff of the neck thanks to reserve hero Kyle Bickley.
The Cumbrian was excellent with paid seven including a vital Heat 4 5-1 with Vissing over Kyle Howarth. Bickley also produced vital second places in Heats 8 and 12 as the home side struggled to get any sort of lead together.
Proctor’s exclusion in Heat 9 was a huge blow but Drew Kemp leapt out to win to keep Tigers in contention. However with Glasgow’s Great Britain star Craig Cook in sensational form, it was always going to be hard to forge ahead for the Tigers.
Cook brilliantly passed Danny King in Heat 13 to keep the scores level and when Rasmus Jensen forced his way through to go by Kyle Howarth in Heat 15 to seal a draw for the visitors.
Sheffield 45: Danny King 11, Zaine Kennedy 8+1, Kyle Howarth 7+1, Ty Proctor 7, Drew Kemp 6, Kasper Andersen 3+2, Broc Nicol 3.
Glasgow 45: Craig Cook 15, Claus Vissing 8, Rasmus Jensen 8, Kyle Bickley 6+1, Paul Starke 4+1, Nathan Stoneman 2+1, James Sarjeant 2.