IN various parts of the footballing world the ten minute sin-bin is being trialled by the authorities in a latest attempt to curb arguably the biggest cancer of all, namely dissent and foul language which is blighting the sport at all levels causing a significant drop out of officials and driving away many supporters. One of the Western League’s neighbours, the Devon and Exeter League are one who have embraced it and Press Officer Kerry Miller took the opportunity of taking in one of their games on Friday night to check out how it might work and the reaction of some of the spectators. The Premier Division clash had Western League connections as the visitors were Heavitree United who travelled to Feniton for a 6.30pm kick-off. The Heavies left the league 18 years ago and have reformed a couple of times since then, while wearing the Feniton number five shirt was none other than Phil Everett, who scored the last of his 378 goals for ex-Western League Tiverton Town around 15 years ago. Now playing at full back, Phil is careering at pace towards his 50th year but is more or less unchanged from Tivvy’s glory days of championships and FA Vase wins. Ironically, although the language coming from the Heavitree dug out was frankly obscene, the full on 2-2 draw was played out without the man in the middle having to speak to a single player, as the on field behaviour and respect for the opposition was impressive. Several times the away captain shouted the words ‘quiet’ or ‘behave’ as if to remind his teammates that they could not afford to have them on the touchline for ten minutes. A home official said after the game: “So far so good as there was very little moaning going on and the referee spelled it out to us before the game that he now has that option.” There will be other opportunities to watch football in that league but for now the jury is out on the law change and all will hope that it is a success and the powers that be have the strength to see it through.
Be sure