James Constable and Stuart Whitehead were both sent off at St Albans today as the celebrity 'Referee Superstar' wowed his adoring fans with an assured display that saw him totally ignore any real fouls and just pick up on the petty ones.
Constable got his marching orders for apparently elbowing Malik Buari out of the way after being continually impeded at a throw in. Buari stood facing Constable, with his back to the thrower, and kept pushing his body against the Harriers man. This in itself was an offence but the local, Essex, referee didn't seem too perturbed by that.
Whitehead was booked for clipping the heel of an opposing player as he challenged for the ball and was then booked again for the same offence during the second half, even though that too was un-intentional.
Constable will probably miss the next three games, starting this Tuesday against Burton, unless the club appeal against the red card. Whitehead will miss two games from next Saturday onwards.
The game saw debuts for all three new loan signings. Glenn Wilson replaced Jeff Kenna, Andy Ferrell replaced the injured Gavin Hurren and, surprisingly, Jon Brady replaced the on form Simon Russell who dropped to the bench.
With the Harriers looking to seek revenge for the opening day defeat we took the game to the hosts right from the start. Christie came close with a header that re-bounded back off the bar after good work from Constable after he had robbed Sangare of the ball and then played in Jon Brady to put in the pin point cross. The ball was cleared for a corner.
From that corner, taken by Jonny Harkness, Christie got the ball into the net only for the goal to be turned down for an infringment on the City keeper Paul Bastock.
Brady crossed to Christie for a second time soon after but this time the Harriers number nine glanced his header wide.
On twenty minutes, totally against the run of play, the home side took a surprise lead following a mistake from the reserve keeper Steve Taylor. There appeared little threat when Tom Davis played a through ball too far from any colleague to reach but as Taylor came out to the edge of the area to collect it Leon Archer made chase to get there first. Taylor let it slip through his grasp and Archer pounced on the loose ball to walk it into the net for the easiest goal he'll ever score.
City could have gone two up just minutes later when John Hastings sliced the ball with an open goal at his mercy after being well set up by a Sangare downward header into the box.
On thirty four minutes the Harriers drew level with a well taken goal by James Constable. Russell Penn made light of stiff challenges from Davis and Guy Lopez, before slotting a perfect ball through the middle of the Saints defence for Constable to fire home from eighteen yards out.
Six minutes after the goal came the controversial sending off incident when Constable won a throw in and then went into the penalty area to wait for the ball. Buari impeded the Harriers striker and when the ball came in Constable appeared to lash out with an elbow and Buari fell to the floor with the red card already being waved at Constable by the referee.
It's believed that the Harriers will be looking at the video of the game to see whether the card can be appealed against.