A REFEREE abandoned a Tyro League under-13 cup tie after a touchline row with parents and officials.

The game between Albion Boys and St Francis Knights in the Dalton's Cup was waved off six minutes into the second half with St Francis leading 3-0.

St Francis felt Albion were the guilty party and are now furious that the Hampshire FA has ordered the match to be replayed.

Manager Darren Davies said: "We scored but their manager and supporters didn't think it was a goal.

"They started mouthing off. We went 2-0 and then 3-0 up, but the ref was getting quite a bit of abuse.

"In the 36th minute one of their players was injured and the manager thought it should have been a foul.

"The ref said that if the abuse carried on he would blew up and abandon the game.

"He sent in a report to the Hampshire FA, but they threw the case out after the referee did not attend the hearing and said it had to be replayed."

He added: "The ref said he had never received anything so bad in 20 years - and this was a boy's football game!"

Albion chairman Alan Gates was not at the game, but said the county FA had cleared his club of any wrongdoing.

He said: "There was a problem at a game but the Hampshire FA have ruled that we were not to blame.

"We were at the hearing and ready to defend ourselves, but the referee did not turn up. We were prepared to go over the incident and give our side of the story.

"It is a difficult situation but the problem arose because our manager was concerned about some of the tackles flying in and felt he had to protect the boys.

"He was about to take his team off the pitch anyway when the ref waved the match off."

Gates has now called for calm ahead of the replay.

"We don't want the situation to get more nasty and wanted to go through the proper channels. We just want the boys to play football in a friendly and sporting way," he added.

It has also been reported to The Echo that an under-12 game was abandoned at Millbrook School last Sunday after the referee got sick of touchline abuse.

Hampshire FA operations manager Neil Cassar admitted they dealt with more complaints about parents than players in youth football.

But he confirmed Albion had been found not guilty of any offence in the match against St Francis.

Tyro League referee appointments secretary Brian Butler stressed there was not a widespread problem within the youth game.

"We have only had two incidents to my knowledge when refs have abandoned games out of well over 1,000 matches this season," he said.

"We do not except any abuse of referees and take a very dim view of it. But I really do not think this is a common problem.

"We want more referees, especially young people and we are recruiting more every year.

"Things are going in the right direction and no-one should be put off refereeing. We also have more and more teams, particularly in girls' and women's football.

"Football is booming at the moment and is still the fastest growing sport in the county," he added.