Alty boss Sinnott defends star striker Reeves

First published in Sport

LEE Sinnott sprang to the defence of Damian Reeves after Altrincham’s prolific striker was accused of diving in a bitter outburst by beaten Harrogate boss Simon Weaver. Alty were already leading through a Simon Richman goal when Harrogate keeper Craig MacGillivray conceded a penalty, and received his marching orders, for a challenge that sent Reeves flying. An angry Weaver branded the straight red card ‘a naïve decision influenced by the crowd’ and added: "To send Craig off when he did not touch their forward was ridiculous. The lad dived over Craig." The evidence suggested otherwise. Reeves had to pass penalty-taking duties on to Matt Doughty, after needing treatment, and was unable to train on Tuesday night, due to bruising to his shin and knee. "That does rather suggest there was contact," said Alty boss Sinnott. "Of course there was, without a shadow of a doubt. Damian has got marks all down his shin and around the knee, and you could tell from the way he went through the air that some extra force had sent him on his way. "We all make these judgements, and maybe Simon’s was made straight after the game. I’ve done that myself, but you need to look at it again to make a more informed one. "I do think there were some ifs and buts about the sending off, though. Would Damian have gone on to score? I’m not sure, because it looked like one of their defenders might have got back to cover on the line. I’ve got some sympathy from that point of view, but, there again it could have been deemed dangerous play. "What is for sure, though, is that we were in the ascendancy up to that point. There are no guarantees about how it would have panned out, but we were a goal to the good and looking the better side with 11 v 11. ‘The performance was much more at the level we are capable of, and to make it six points out of six from two home games so far this year is very pleasing." Alty are back on the road at Worcester City on Saturday, with Reeves expected to be fit but James Lawrie (toe) and Duncan Watmore (ankle) facing late fitness tests. On-loan Jordan Sinnott is available for the last time, before returning to Huddersfield, and striker Danny Mitchley is back from his loan spell with Marine.

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