Lewes boss Simon Wormull claimed the referee should have done more to protect his players on Saturday – after two Rooks were forced to leave the field of play with serious facial injuries as a result of flying elbows.
Defender Lewis Hamilton was left with a black eye after taking an elbow in the face and failed to come out for the second half. But midfielder Jack Walder’s injury was even serious after his clash with a Billericay player left him with a suspected fractured eye socket.
Wormull said: “We’ve got two guys who have got to go to hospital now. That just says how physical the game was.
“We’ve got one with an eye socket injury and one who looks like he’s had two rounds with Mike Tyson.
“Jack’s in a bad way to be fair. His eye socket has dropped. Lewis (Hamilton), his eye’s just closed up now.
“Both of them took elbows. I spoke to the referee at half time, and just said – without getting on his back – he needs to look after us, because they were big guys and they were physical.
“And I understand that’s the way they play. But elbows – there’s no part for that.
“The thing was, because we were matching them, we were getting amongst them, it was frustrating them. And I think things like that happen. But that’s where the referee’s got to see stuff like that.
“He’s got to look after players, because you’ve got the health of two players in jeopardy now. Outside of football, they’ve got to go to work – can they do that now? It’s a difficult one.
“Jack Walder’s eye has actually dropped. I mean, he’s not in a good state at all, and obviously he’s not with it as well.
“He’s said the guy’s just... bang (imitates an elbow action). What can you do? What can you do?”
See this Friday’s Sussex Express for more on Saturday’s game.