Harriers 0 York City 0
away fans: 243
Harriers denied penalty winner
For the second week running the Harriers found themselves at the wrong end of a dubious refereeing decision when, following a penalty that was given at Stevenage for a clean tackle, this time it was not given for an illegal tackle by the City keeper on Iyseden Christie. With Christie pouncing on a mistake by their defender and then pushing the ball past the advancing keeper he was toppled over as he tried to jump him but the referee didn't even see the incident. If she did then she made a marvelous job of pretending not to.
That missed opportunity can't take away the fact for all the huff and puff out there today we never really looked like scoring anyway. The City defence marshalled their territory well and we never got close enough to score. Probably the only other good chance we had was the one that cannoned off the upright from Issey's close range, acute angled, shot.
The starting line-up included Russell Penn for the first time and also a home debut for Marc Pugh, signed on loan from Burnley a few weeks ago. Both played well but Penn did get himself booked early on for a bit of over enthusiasm.
Slotting in at the back in place of the suspended Wayne Hatswell was Michael Blackwood. A change from his normal speedy winger role but he too managed ok in the end after a slightly nervous start.
The game started at 100 mph and stayed that way for most of the first period of play. With such high speed football comes a fair amount of scrappy play and that's just what we got.
The first real chance of the game fell to us but Taiwo Atieno wasted the chance to make use of better placed colleagues and opted to go it alone with a left footed shot that failed to make the visiting keeper burst into action. City got the ball in the net soon after but the effort from Leo Bertos that rebounded into the path of former Harrier, Andy Bishop, was ruled out for offside.
Apart from a chance from Darren Dunning that was headed wide York did little else during the first half to open the scoring. Then again neither did we.
HT: 0 - 0
York started the second period the stronger side and again had a goal correctly dis-allowed. The ball was sent into our area and as Bishop went up for it alongside Danny Lewis he pushed our keeper to the floor.
Apart from that there was little else for a while except for a powerful, acute angled, shot from Christie that suddenly slammed against the upright and went out for a goal kick. Simon Heslop got into a good shooting position just after but he sent his shot way over the bar.
The game was starting to come to life now and we would have been a goal down if it hadn't been for some more goal keeping heroics from Lewis. York were swarming into our area and our defenders were manfully trying their best to stop the shots raining in until Lee Andrews took a turn and Lewis threw himself instinctively across the goal to push his shot away. Another fine save from the fast improving young keeper.
With the last quarter on the clock the game exploded in fury and vitriol from the Harriers fans when the penalty what was, wasn't. Fans were calling Porter a cheat for the incident but it's not him who is supposed to decide whether it was a penalty or not. That's the job of the referee and she bottled it to prove that she was a ref with no balls.
The fact that neither Christie or Porter were even spoken to about it and, if it was denied because Christie was supposed to have dived, then why wasn't he booked? A goal kick was also given but if the keeper had got the ball and Christie fell over him then why wasn't a corner given instead?
I was prepared to give her the benefit of being a woman but frankly she should not be doing a job such as this when so much is at stake.
After that incident the game was just played out with no real heart left in it. City came close to getting a late winner but Clayton Donaldson just failed to connect with Andy Bishops cross.
The result was a fair one at the end of the ninety minutes and neither side didn't do enough to win or played badly enough to lose. The single point does see us drop further down the table though and sixteenth place is looking reminiscent of our struggles last season and we all know how that ended.