Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Players Protest in Vain as Penalty Settles Matters Late On

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Players Protest in Vain as Penalty Settles Matters Late On

Article excerpt

Colchester United ................................. Hartlepool United .................................

MICK Wadsworth admits his Hartlepool United players can be "too nice" at times. So perhaps it's a sign of how furious they were come 5pm on Saturday as they vented their anger at referee Oliver Langford.

Evan Horwood's late free-kick looked enough to earn a point at Colchester, but their hopes were cruelly dashed when the official gifted the home side a match-changing spot-kick in injury time for an offence outside the penalty area.

How Langford could rule that Peter Hartley handled in the danger zone when he was outside the area is anyone's guess. Equally bewildering for Wadsworth and his players was that the assistant referee backed the official -after he didn't flag for an incident.

The Pool players furiously surrounded the referee, only to be brushed aside.

"It's not a penalty at all, the linesman didn't give a penalty initially - so why did he have to consult him in the first place?" said Wadsworth.

"It wasn't deserved, it wasn't a penalty. "We don't react in that sort of manner - we are too nice at times. I thought from their reaction that there was a chance it wasn't at it seemed. I thought straight away, free-kick, edge of the box, let's defend it."

Central defender Hartley admitted the handball offence, but said: "We feel hard done by. The referee blew the whistle and didn't make the decision. The linesman didn't make the decision, his flag wasn't across his chest. I think the referee has folded under pressure from the Colchester players. The ball did hit my hand, it was by my side, but I was a metre outside the box." It was a dramatic end to the game, with Henderson drilling in the spot kick.

Three minutes previously, Pool had dragged the scoreline level. Leon McSweeney's charge ahead through the middle was halted and, from the free-kick some 25 yards from goal, Horwood curled it over the wall and under the bar. …

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