A RAGING Adam Lakeland has accused ‘dodgy refereeing’ of “making a mockery of the women’s game” after four of his Blackburn Rovers Ladies players saw red to get dumped out of the League Cup.

After an exemplary disciplinary record during his previous two-year tenure as Rovers’ boss, Lakeland was left stunned to see their red card count jump from zero to four in Sunday’s second round penalty shoot out defeat to Portsmouth, after a 4-4 draw.

Rovers’ hat trick hero Katie Anderton saw red, along with Natalie Brewer, Natalie Preston and Jenna Carroll, leaving Rovers unable to hang onto their lead.

Rovers will be reporting referee Lee Taylor to the FA, after claiming ‘there was not a bad tackle in the game’, with Portsmouth boss Vanessa Raynbird also admitting “most of the sendings-off were for very innocuous offences”.

Lakeland claims both linesmen will also be supporting Rovers’ case but admits that is little comfort for crashing out of the League Cup at an early stage.

He said: “This takes anything I have seen before onto another level. The refereeing was absolutely terrible as there was not a bad tackle in the game.

“Portsmouth were embarrassed about winning the game they way they did. Even the people running the lines gave us 15 minutes of their time after the game.

“They said they would write to the FA and said they would never run the line for that referee again.

“An inexperienced ref, who was clearly out of his depth, had a massive impact on us going out of the cup.”

Prior to Lakeland’s appointment in January 2007, police had to be called to Rovers to provide the referee, Ross Joyce, with a safe passage out of the club’s Shawbridge ground, following a 6-3 defeat by Chelsea.

Joyce had sent off two Blackburn players, Amanda Barr and Linda Shepherd, during extra-time and at the final whistle, the 200-plus crowd mounted such a strong protest that Blackburn officials feared for the referee’s safety.

l An Anderton double had earlier given Rovers a 2-0 half time lead, before Gemma Ritchie and Lisa Langrish levelled for Pompey.

Anderton completed her hat-trick 20 minutes from time. Brewer and Anderton then both received their marching orders, before Ritchie’s second goal of the afternoon forced the tie into extra time.

Preston shot Rovers back in front before she too was sent off, quickly followed by Carroll.

Though they were down to seven players, Rovers held out until the last minute of extra-time, when Ritchie hit her hat-trick goal to set up the penalty shoot-out.

And Portsmouth progressed from the penalty kicks, winning 4-3.