DAN Drane scored a late, later winner for Huntingdon Town last night – but Ollie Medwynter ended up in hospital after a tackle that warranted a red card with the referee only dishing out a yellow.
In fact, manager Ricky Marheineke was so disappointed after the game – which Huntingdon won 2-1 to go fifth in the United Counties League Premier Division – that he felt the need to criticise a referee for the second match on the trot.
Jamie Graham, who on another day might have had a hat-trick, scored an early penalty after Niks Savalneiks was brought down when clean through but that challenge went otherwise unpunished. In the second half, Savalneiks was tripped again after taking the ball around the Harborough goalkeeper, but was booked for diving.
Despite failing to build on some early promise - the Harborough goalkeeper made two good saves in the first minute - and conceding an equaliser 10 minutes into the second half, Huntingdon peppered the Harborough goal for the last 20 and finally got their reward when substitute Drane forced the ball home in injury time.
Marheineke said: “These are the kind of games we have to win – I was disappointed we didn’t win on Saturday [against Long Buckby] but on reflection I think a draw was a good result. But in home games against any team you have to try pick up maximum points. That puts us into fifth above Deeping Rangers with games in hand and we are three points off of Quorn in fourth and we still have to play them – so we have just got to keep on trying to win. It’s as simple as that.
“If other teams around you are dropping points then you have to make sure you are picking them up.”
There was concern for Medwynter last night after the tackle that ended his game and the right back went to hospital amids fear of a broken ankle – but later it was confirmed he had suffered a soft tissue injury, though still a painful one.
The referee brandished a yellow for that, the same punishment he gave to striker Savalneiks who was brought down with the goal open in front of him. It was a clear foul, even the Harborough manager agreed.
“The penalty decision in the first half was a penalty with a clear goalscoring opportunity denied. That was a red card but the referee didn’t even have a word with the player.
“The challenge on Ollie Medwynter for me is a straight red card all day long – but that was deemed a yellow card and that was a disgrace. It was a horrendous tackle.
“And then the penalty decision in the second half when Niks was brought down – it’s a penalty and it’s a red card. Niks has then got up and put the ball in the net and he is booked.
“I said at the weekend, after the Buckby game, all we ask from the officials is that they get a high percentage of the big decisions right.
“I have had a word with the assessor and he hasn’t given me any answers either.”
On Saturday, Huntingdon are at home again, with Peterborough Northern Star visiting Jubilee Park.