Sinnott bemoans decisions

LEE Sinnott was left counting the cost of contentious refereeing decisions after a disallowed goal and ‘horrendous’ penalty award ended Altrincham’s interest in the FA Trophy at the J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

Alty were already fuming at being denied a first-half lead, after Luca Havern was harshly pulled up for a foul, when referee David Richardson caused uproar by pointing to the spot, following a perfectly-executed tackle by Scott Leather.

The penalty was converted, and when Leek Town doubled their lead near the end, Alty were heading for more cup disappointment, despite a spectacular injury-time reply by Greg Wilkinson.

“I have watched the highlights again, and they just confirm that the penalty was a horrendous decision,” said Alty boss Sinnott.

“Scott quite clearly connected with the ball, not the player. Their lad’s momentum then took him into Scott, but the ball had already been won cleanly.

“I don’t want to hide behind things, but there were two major decisions, and they both went against us. Our ‘goal’ was disallowed for a push by Luca, but, having watched a few reruns, there was nothing in it.

“He just got up earlier than their lad, and there were no hands all over shoulders, or anything like that. If you chalk that off, you’re going to be giving free-kicks for eight out of 10 aerial challenges all over the pitch. I found it baffling.

“But that doesn’t alter the fact that we moved the ball too slowly at times and didn’t use the width of the pitch enough. We should still have had enough to get through, even allowing for those two critical decisions, and it is so disappointing to have fallen short in a cup competition again.

“These same lads are joint-top in the league, yet we have gone out to teams from a lower division in both cups. It’s not that they don’t care or are not made aware of potential banana skins, but for some reason, it’s like we struggle against lesser opposition. We just don’t seem able to get our game going, and it is strange, to say the least.”

With Nicky Clee’s hamstring problem possibly keeping him out for a fortnight, Alty are actively seeking reinforcements.

“We are hoping Nicky will prove a quick healer, but it could be a couple of weeks,’ added Sinnott. ‘We are looking at players, including a left-sider to improve the balance of the team, but it has to be the right person. There are a few boxes to tick, in terms of finance, players being willing and able to join us and their clubs allowing them to. But we have been talking, and we will continue to talk.”

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