YORK City manager Martin Foyle branded referee Colin Harwood “awful” after top scorer Richard Brodie incurred a two-match ban during last night’s 1-0 FA Trophy replay victory over Newport.

A frustrated Foyle argued the Manchester official forced him into replacing Brodie in the second half, as he feared the 27-goal marksman was going to be sent off after being shown his tenth yellow card of the season seconds before the interval.

Richard Pacquette later scored the only goal of the tie in injury-time to set up a last 16 meeting with Corby Town on Saturday when the former Havant and Waterlooville forward looks likely to retain his place with Brodie now sidelined.

The City boss said: “I don’t think I’ve ever had to make a decision that has been dictated by the referee. He was absolutely awful.

“It’s disappointing when you have to take somebody off who is just running around being honest. He might have grabbed one of the centre-halves once but they were doing the same.

“It’s not a case of me moaning because we won a game of football and (Newport manager) Dean Holdsworth thought it was embarrassing as well. The standard is so, so poor.”

Foyle also insisted that Brodie pointedly applauding three sides of Bootham Crescent before the game kicked off was not symbolic ahead of the transfer window closing next week.

He said: “Brodes always does that and that would be people reading too much into things.”

Foyle added that he was delighted for Pacquette and Adam Smith who set up the winning goal and has also been on the fringe of the first-team squad in recent times.

He praised both, along with Josh Mimms, who was handed his first start of the season in place of hamstring victim Michael Ingham, and Djoumin Sangare – a first-half substitute for David McGurk, who suffered a head injury that required four stitches.

“All their attitudes are great,” Foyle enthused. “They are fantastic boys and their fitness levels were excellent considering their lack of football.

“They have been patient and I’m pleased for them. It’s not been an easy time for them or me leaving them out but I’m not too perturbed who plays from the squad.

“Nobody should consider themselves regulars and people like David McGurk, Michael Rankine, Levi Mackin, Andy Ferrell and Michael Gash have all had long spells out of the team. Josh has had to wait longer than anybody but he was absolutely super.

“He came off his line on a couple of occasions to commit himself and clear up the danger. Michael Ingham has hurt his hamstring but if Josh has to play on Saturday that will be a nice decision to make.”

Foyle was unhappy with the condition of a heavily-sanded playing surface, saying: “We worked very hard and were disciplined but there was no chance of any quality football on that pitch. It was horrendous and I had to apologise to Newport afterwards.”

Foyle also has mixed feelings about his side’s continued progress in the Trophy.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted and we have a good chance of going a step further but, if we do, the Luton game would be the next one off. It’s going to be hard to fit fixtures in. We’ve also got injuries now and suspensions so it’s a worry but, when you are winning, you just want to carry that on.”