Garry Hill was choosing his words very carefully after seeing his Ebbsfleet United side succumb to a second-half Solihull goal and then two late red cards in a post-match interview where the referee’s actions dominated the conversation.

“It was a strange ending to a game,” said a restrained Hill. “A lot’s gone on.”

“When I look at the game first of all, I knew it was going to be physical, tough. The way the game started off and the way it continued up to half-time, it hasn’t surprised me that somebody was going to get sent off.

“I’m picking my words carefully. I used to get a Christmas card every year from the FA because I used to give them so much money.

“So I’m getting a little bit old for that and a little bit wiser. I felt, watching and observing the game, that the match referee with his assistants, same as anybody, you have good days at the office, you have a bad day.

“I think there could have been a little bit of common sense at times: from both sides on the pitch and the refereeing team on the pitch. When things start to get a bit lively, I was a little bit surprised that the referee didn’t blow his whistle and pull the captains of both teams to the side and have a chat at any time.

“But when the cards started coming out, the momentum was running with him.”

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