WORTHING Football Club manager Chris White felt two key penalty decisions went against them and cost his side the chance to climb into the play-off places at Maidstone last night (Wednesday).
It was fifth versus sixth and a chance for Rebels to leapfrog their hosts into the last Ryman League Division 1 South play-off spot, but they were held to a 0-0 stalemate despite shading proceedings at Bourne Park.
White admitted it was a missed opportunity for his side to climb above their fellow play-off chasing rivals, but took heed from a point especially with four key players missing from their starting 11.
He said: “I though we shaded it and should have won it. We had two nailed on penalties not given - the ref was pretty poor, although he was poor for both sides to be fair.
“We also had one come off the inside of the post which they were saying was over the line, so we feel pretty hard-done by, but I think a point was a better result for us than for them.
“They were never going to score last night, I don’t think Alan (Mansfield) had one save to make in 90 minutes, so it was disappointing from that point of view
“We were without Jamie (Brotherton), Ryan (McBride), Tom Manton and Mike (Huckett), who are big players for us, so to go there and get a some sort of result is pretty decent.”
Brotherton failed to recover from a groin injury picked up in the win at Whyteleafe, McBride was serving the penultimate game of his suspension, and both Manton and Huckett, despite coming on were only fit enough for a place on the bench.
Worthing threw everything at the hosts in the final stages with a dominant 20-minute spell from which Steve Davies went closest, but the two main talking points were the penalty appeals.
The first came in the first half when Tom Lawley was tripped in the area by the Maidstone goalkeeper, and the second just after the break when John Lansdale was felled, and the referee gave a free kick despite White quipping: “It was a yard in the box, everyone in the ground could see that, but he just gave a free kick.”
Lawley also went close on two occasions after being put through, but he drew good saves from the Maidstone stopper, and Rebels were left to settle for a share of the spoils.
WORTHING: Mansfield; Piper, Hurley, Woodburn, Metcalf; Lansdale, Kennett, Gedling, Budd, Lawley; Davies. Subs: Manton (Gedling 55) Huckett (Davies 70), Charles, Pulling, Clack.