THERE was a rare outbreak of controversy in the Testway Youth League last weekend.

Fordingbridge under-11s marched through to the semi finals of the League Cup with a highly impressive 4-1 win at West Harnham.

Harnham have only conceded three goals in ten league games, so that highlights just how well the lads played.

Sad, then, that much of the post-game analysis – well, discussions between the parents – concentrated on refereeing decisions.

I know, it was ever thus ...

Mainly, the one in the first half when a Fordingbridge shot hit the roof of the net and bounced out again.

It was so patently a goal that Mr Magoo could have seen it.

Remarkably, the referee waved play on.

And because our lads are still innocent enough and young enough not to surround the referee with snarling faces, the game continued without any on-field protests.

On the touchline, an initial feeling of bemusement quickly turned to annoyance given the importance of the match.

There were other incidents during the game, regarding possible fouls and a penalty that Harnham were awarded at 4-0 down that made no difference to the outcome, that puzzled the spectators. At least the ones whose sons were playing for Fordingbridge.

There was post-match talk of our manager being reported to the Hampshire FA for his behaviour, which baffled me at the time and still does.

Yet again, and remember in youth football we are no different to the Premier League, the referee was a main talking point.

I can totally understand the argument about fouls. I’ve refereed games and you can’t see everything, you can’t get every decision right.

But when a ball hits the roof of the net, and a goal is not given ...

The debate has obviously gone on long enough. Let us talk no more.

Finally, it’s time to introduce goalline technology into the Testway Youth League.

Purists and traditionalists may have their doubts, but the time has come.

Come on, Testway officials, cough up the thousands of pounds needed. The benefits are obvious.

Of course, the ‘phantom’ goal that wasn’t last weekend eventually didn’t matter in terms of the overall scoreline.

Just as well. It would have been sad if such a moment had contributed to a Fordingbridge defeat.

Now the lads have a cup semi-final to look forward to.

We are the only second division team left in the Testway Under-11 Cup and, as such, will be the underdogs when we host Braishfield Bees next month.

‘Remember Bradford City, remember Oldham Athletic, remember Luton Town,’ I will tell my son, Ben. And he will probably take not a blind bit of notice and carry on playing Minecraft on the net.

If a non league team can win at a Premier League side in the FA Cup, we can beat a side from just one division higher.

The magic of the Cup.

Five truer words have never been written.