BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT boss Tom Rothery says the hotly-disputed penalty that led to Saturday's defeat at Leatherhead was “ridiculous”.

Having equalised through Sam Ashford in the Bostik League premier division contest, the R’s were left shell-shocked when Matt Cripps was alleged to have fouled a home player in the 88th minute.

The defender and club captain was sent off before former Braintree Town man Jack Midson slotted home from the spot - his second goal of the game - to wrap up a 2-1 victory.

“The penalty that won them the game was ridiculous,” said Rothery.

“Both players made contact with the ball and both slipped as they did so, because the pitch was very wet.

“However, the referee deemed it a dangerous tackle.

“Leatherhead’s media guy has said he will send us the video, so we can appeal the red card.

“Even their players were advising us to do that.”

The penalty led to Brightlingsea’s fourth straight defeat - they have conceded late goals in all of them - but Rothery was happy with his side’s performance at Fetcham Grove.

“Credit to Leatherhead for the way they played and pinned us back in the first half,” he said.

“However, the boys responded well and were excellent after the break.

"We took the game to them."