RIVAL bosses Matty Holmes and Tom Killick leapt to the defence of Luke Burbidge after he had been sent off during Wimborne’s Dorset Senior Cup win over Poole last night.

The Wimborne winger received a second yellow card for a comment directed towards an official – with referee Martin Underhay alleging the remark had homophobic connotations.

Burbidge, who left Poole for Wimborne in September, strenuously denied the accusation when approached by the Daily Echo after the semi-final tie at Black Gold Stadium had ended.

The incident occurred in the 66th minute when Burbidge spoke out of turn to assistant Jonathan Pike following the award of a goal-kick to Poole, with Wimborne convinced they should have had a corner.

Booked following a first-half flare-up with Dolphins midfielder Steve Devlin, the Magpies man received a second caution and was subsequently given his marching orders.

And after producing the yellow card, referee Underhay was clearly heard to say his decision had been reached as Burbidge had allegedly made a “homophobic” reference.

When later approached by the Daily Echo, Underhay told our reporter we were welcome to print what he had said on the pitch but did not wish to elaborate. He confirmed details of the incident would be passed to the FA.

Wimborne manager Holmes confirmed he had heard Underhay’s comment but had been unaware as to what Burbidge had said.

Holmes told the Daily Echo: “I didn’t hear anything at all and, when I saw the second yellow come out, I was quite shocked because I had heard one of their players verbally abuse the linesman in the first half and nothing was done.

“As managers, you get aggrieved when there is no consistency. One player from one team verbally abuses them and they don’t say anything and then our lad apparently says something and gets sent off.

“I don’t know what was said and don’t condone Luke if he swore. I will speak to him later in the week. Our discipline is quite good. We are in the top four or five in our league and don’t want that from our club.

“Luke is not like that as well. He is a good kid and I haven’t had an ounce of problem since he has been here with me.”

In March 2015, Poole boss Killick received a six-match stadium ban and £300 fine after admitting a charge of improper conduct for a discriminatory offence.

Killick told the Daily Echo: “I don’t know what was said so I can’t compare it with what I said. Luke doesn’t have a malicious bone in his body.

“What happened with me was unacceptable and I was rightly punished.

“Luke was a massive part of the success we have had here and I have a lot of affection for him. I just hope that he and the referee can have a conversation and things can move on.”

Dolphins: Rees, Moore, Smeeton, Spetch (Gyebi, h-t), Whisken, Pettefer, Neale (Batista, 62), Devlin, Bentley, Brooks, Balmer (Walker, 110). Unused sub: G Richardson.

Magpies: Benfield, Maybury, Hester, Oldring, Davidson (Arnold, 84), Kellaway (Walker, 78), Francis (Penny, 64), L Holmes, T Holmes, Burbidge, Lovell. Unused subs: Stokoe, Cole.