ALTRINCHAM players and officials were left shaking their heads after a string of near-misses and two baffling refereeing decisions combined to cost them two points against Solihull Moors on Saturday.
After going behind early on, Alty laid siege to the Solihull goal but had to settle for a draw after Damian Reeves converted a 73rd-minute penalty, minutes after hitting the post with another.
Their cause was hardly helped by referee Robert Jones failing to penalise keeper Jasbir Singh for blocking Reeves’ first-half run on goal and taking no action against a defender who hauled down Shaun Densmore for the second spot-kick.
"I spoke to the ref at half-time, and he said he thought Damian had run into the keeper," said assistant manager Neil Tolson.
"My reply was to ask why, after taking the ball round him, would Damian then want to run into him? He clearly got that one wrong.
"As for the second one, Shaun was clean through and six yards out, so if that is not a scoring opportunity, I genuinely don’t know what is. I spoke to the ref again at the end and told him he was the only person in the ground, and I include the Solihull bench and manager in that, who didn’t think it should have been a straight red. His reply was 'I’m the one that matters'.
"The frustrating thing is that, even if you overlook the first incident, they should have been down to 10 men for the last quarter-of-an-hour or so. They would doubtless have taken a forward off, so we could have committed more players forward, kept people out wide and stretched them. It would have made a difference.
"But the key thing now is to keep our heads and our belief. I went to the Halifax game last night, and for 45 minutes, Guiseley never had a kick. They were 1-0 down but stepped it up in the second half and won 2-1. That’s what belief can do for you."
Former Bradford City goal-poacher Tolson makes a playing comeback at Moss Lane tomorrow tonight (Thurs, 6.30pm) in a charity match between Securitas and Bruntwood.