ANGRY Aldershot Town boss blasted referee Ian Bentley after the Shots were reduced to ten men for the second home game in succession.

Brown claimed the big clash with rivals Billericay was ‘too big' for Mr Bentley, who sent off Karl Ready for retaliation after just four minutes and angered Shots fans throughout with a rather inept display.

The Shots battled to a hard-fought goal-less draw - a rare result at the Rec these days - and but for a little common sense, it could have been much more.

Thankfully for club officials, however, Mr Bentley's performance took the attention away from former Shots boss George Borg, visiting the Rec for the first time since his sacking in March and just three weeks after his kiss and tell allegations in a national newspaper.

Borg, the first team coach at Billericay, received a chorus of boos from some sections of the Rec crowd, but no trouble was reported, thus saving the club from further repercussions after recent incidents.

As it was, the aptly-named Mr Bentley, who like the club, was also under the microscope, this time from assessors, ended up the main talking point.

Shots boss Terry Brown said: "It's very disappointing to have someone sent off again. I'm aware that we have to look at the discipline and I'm aware that we are beholden to whatever official the league deems to send down here and basically muck up the game.

"He didn't cope with the situation at all. The incident happened after four minutes and looked something or nothing to be honest. The game was too big for him.

"I wanted to win it as much as anyone here. We had a few good chances and played as well as we could do with ten men. It could have gone either way, it was very open at the end and if push comes to shove I'd settle for a draw.

"I would just like to get into the Conference as soon as we can so we can have professional referees to look after us.

"The fans were absolutely fantastic. From a fans point of view to go down to ten men and considering the opposition today it felt a bit more like a win than it did two goals dropped."

Ready's dismissal, for kicking out in retaliation at Lee Williams, following his dangerous fourth minute challenge, could bring a premature end to a short Aldershot career. The former QPR and Wales international is considering offers to play elsewhere, including America, and is expected to depart the club in the next few weeks.

Now with a three-match suspension looming, it could be sooner rather than later as the shots struggle to come to terms with his big wage demands.

Brown, naturally coy about the situation, simply said: "We want someone on a permanent basis that we can rely on for the rest of the season."

The boss prepared for the big clash by bringing in talented young midfielder Dwayne Lee on a one-month loan from Yeading, and out-of-work keeper Richard Hurst as cover for the suspended Nikki Bull.

Lee, who has just returned from a trial at Reading, performed admirably in his big debut, while Hurst, the former Kingstonian, St Albans and Chelmsford shot-stopper, kept the Shots in the match with a superb reaction save with his feet to deny Martin Carthy from close range.

Billericay, fielding former Shots Ollie Adedeji, who was magnificent, and Mark Graham, were obviously up for a battle from the very first whistle, and when Williams clattered into Ready, thus sparking the kick-out and subsequent red card, it seemed as though they would get away with their tactics.

Williams escaped with just a booking, as did Russell Penn, who cruelly brought down Dean Hooper and striker Jamie Wallace, who appeared to lash out at Lee Holsgrove.

That just about summed up Aldershot's afternoon.

But despite being left to battle in adversity, the Shots still managed to play some excellent football, and might have even won the game but for a bit of luck in front of goal.

Jason Chewins hit the crossbar with a screaming left-foot drive and young substitute Michael Harper glanced a fine header from Roscoe D'sane's cross just wide of the far post.

Billericay, too, had chances, as they went out for the winner. Substitute Richard Graham, younger brother of Mark, caused problems on the left flank, first feeding Carthy, whose free header was brilliantly kept out by the feet of Hurst, and then firing in a shot which was half stopped by Hurst and cleared off the line by the in-form Dominic Sterling.

In the end, a draw seemed a fair result, but you can't help thinking that Mr Bentley's decisions alone contributed to the Shots losing their position on the top of the table.

The Shots now have another big test tonight (Tuesday, ko 7.45pm) when Brown's former club Hayes visit the Rec for a Ryman premier division fixture.

No fewer than six of the squad (Nikki Bull, Dominic Sterling, Anthony Charles, Lee Charles, Dean Hooper and Lee Holsgrove) have all played for Brown at Church Road, and Holsgrove's two brothers Peter and Paul, are still regular starters in their line-up.

Brown added: "On a personal level it will mean more to me and it'll mean more to a collection of players in my dressing room than this one did today (Saturday). Hayes will come here with a game plan, they'll come here to play their football, because they are a good footballing side and we're in for a very difficult game."

SHOTS: Hurst; Hooper, Chewins, Ready, Sterling, A Charles, Holsgrove, Lee (sub Roddis 69mins), Moody (Harper 45), D'sane (Taylor 88), Buckle. Not used: Cousins, Gell.

Ref: I Bentley. Att: 2,288.