Jon Stead was the victim of another controversial refereeing decision as Harrogate Town lost 4-2 at Torquay United in a game where they twice took the lead.
The veteran striker had a winning ‘goal’ harshly ruled out at AFC Fylde on Bank Holiday Monday before yesterday saw him shown a second yellow card for handball in Devon, despite being struck on the shoulder from point-blank range.
Prior to that, Stead had netted his first two goals in Harrogate colours, ending Town’s recent penalty curse with a successful 33rd-minute spot-kick conversion to send Simon Weaver’s men into the interval with their noses in front.
Torquay levelled matters early in the second period, though Stead slid in at the back post shortly afterwards to covert George Smith’s left-wing cross and put his team 2-1 up.
His dismissal on 63 minutes proved to be a turning point and the 10 men failed to defend their advantage, leaving Stead to reflect on another “costly” decision by a National League referee.
“He said it was for deliberate handball.” Stead reflected. “I’m at the halfway line, the ball’s hit my shoulder. I’m two yards away from the lad who has mis-controlled it. It’s just hard to put it into words really.
“In the first half, there was a clear, deliberate handball which he gave a free-kick for and said ‘deliberate handball’ and didn’t book their player.
“It’s difficult to take when we’ve played some decent stuff for large spells for the result to be taken because of a refereeing decision.”
Stead also revealed he was surprised by referee Aaron Jackson’s decision to show him a second yellow card.
“There was no real appeal from anybody in the stadium or any of their players, but before he [the referee] could even get to me, his hand was in his pocket,” Stead added.
“Before I could even speak to him he was saying ‘deliberate handball, go away, get off the pitch’.”
Elsewhere, FC Halifax Town were beaten for only the second time this season as they lost 2-0 at home to Yeovil.
Gold Omotayo struck twice to consign The Shaymen to their first home defeat of the season.
PONTEFRACT COLLIERIES moved into the second qualifying round of the FA Cup with an impressive 3-1 victory at Glossop North End.
Layton Swaine put the visitors ahead on 32 minutes before Connor Smythe doubled the advantage and John Syrus sealed the victory on 55 minutes.
Two goals from Tom Greaves proved not enough for Ossett United as they drew 2-2 at Thornaby. United led twice in the game but a last-minute own goal from Ben Hampson meant the tie went to a replay.
Tadcaster Albion were pegged back twice in their 2-2 home draw with Ashton United.
Kevin Dos Santos and Ioane Evans netted for the home side who will replay the game tomorrow night.
Pickering Town bowed out of the competition at the first qualifying round stage after a 2-0 defeat at 1874 Northwich, while Liversedge also lost by the same score at home to Stockton Town.
In the BetVictor Northern Premier League South East Division, basement-side Frickley Athletic suffered their fifth straight defeat in a 3-1 home loss to Carlton Town. Jack McMenemy netted Frickley’s goal.
In the Northern Counties East League, Garforth Town suffered a crushing 7-1 defeat at Silsden, while Knaresborough Town drew 0-0 at Bottesford Town.
In Division One, a four-minute brace from Danny Edwards helped Nostell MW see off Selby Town 3-2 while Harrogate Railway lost 2-1 at Dronfield Town.