STEVE Butterworth admits Great Wakering Rovers’ final pre-season friendly was a shambles.

Wakering wrapped up their preparations for the new Isthmian North campaign, which gets underway this weekend, with a 4-3 defeat at Ashford United.

But the fixture was ruled over by three different referees as the hosts forgot to book match officials for the encounter.

“There was no referee for the game and it was embarrassing, to be honest,” said Wakering player-manager Butterworth.

“It was all a farce and we ended up having three different people refereeing over the course of the 90 minutes.

“There was also only one linesman and he was at the end we were attacking, so at least two of their goals were definitely offside but no-one was there to raise their flag.

“It was a bit of a shambles and it was one of those games where you would call it a day if you could but, after travelling down to Ashford, you want to at least have a game.

“The first referee was a member of Ashford’s coaching staff and then, at half-time, someone in the stands said that he was a referee and offered to take over.

“He came out for the second half but, with 15 minutes to go, he gave the whistle to someone else and had enough.

“It was a joke and it was an odd way to finish pre-season.”

George Cox got his name on the scoresheet, while Jake Gordon converted from the penalty spot and Reece Conway headed home a corner.

And Butterworth is pleased to see the back of pre-season.

“We were superb during the first three weeks of pre-season,” added Butterworth, who was appointed as Wakering permanent player-manager in April having originally been in interim charge since Garry Kimble’s departure in January.

“But the last couple of weeks were not so good and it got to the point where I was a bit bored of there not being competitive games.

“It had become repetitive for the players and I know they will be raring to go when we go to Felixstowe & Walton United this weekend.

“This week is all about ironing out the problems we saw in pre-season and continuing to improve ourselves as a team.

“I can’t wait for the campaign to start now because, overall, pre-season has been a mixed bag.

“I’ve never truly liked pre-season, like a lot of players and managers, but this one has been particularly fragmented for us.”