Ref jus­tice as Town pay the penalty

Halifax Courier - - Sport -

Ref­eree Ian Hussin was at the cen­tre of a con­tentious clash as FC Hal­i­fax Town lost 2-0 at home to For­est Green. Goals from Jon Parkin and El­liott Frear put Rovers in con­trol, a po­si­tion they rarely looked like sur­ren­der­ing.

Jim Har­vey’s un­beaten run had to end some­time, and there’s no shame los­ing to a side with a bud­get as big or a team as tal­ented as For­est Green.

But there was a sense of in­jus­tice at the man­ner of the de­feat, with Hussin mak­ing him­self pub­lic en­emy num­ber one, just ahead of Parkin, by award­ing a du­bi­ous penalty, the rea­son for which was lost on most ob­servers.

This fix­ture ended in con­tro­versy last sea­son with a mass brawl at full-time; this time the big talk­ing point came round much quicker.

There was no great ap­peal from the vis­i­tors, but one almighty protest from the home play­ers and sup­port­ers.

Sam John­son saved the ini­tial shot from Parkin, who con­verted the re­bound.

Hussin’s ev­ery de­ci­sion, or lack of, was un­der heavy scru­tiny now, par­tic­u­larly the jousts be­tween Parkin and the Town cen­tre-backs, most of which the home fans felt should have seen the striker pe­nalised.

Bur­row nearly pro­duced an in­stant re­ply but headed nar­rowly wide from James Bolton’s cross.

Town then had two penalty ap­peals waved away within 30 sec­onds, one for an al­leged push on Bur­row and an­other for an ap­par­ent kick on Sam Walker.

But there could be no grum­bles about Rovers’ se­cond goal as a rapid break was capped off by Frear’s deft fin­ish af­ter the im­pres­sive Keanu Marsh-Brown’s su­perb low cross through the box.

Parkin squeezed in one more foul be­fore the in­ter­val as he brought down Hamza Bencherif in front of the dugouts; pre­dictably, Hussin’s de­ci­sion not to book Parkin prompted an­other fu­ri­ous out­cry, one that was re­peated as he walked off at half-time mo­ments later.

Hussin even ob­jected to Town’s se­cond-half restart, mak­ing them do it twice.

An­other Parkin nig­gle at Bencherif then fi­nally saw the for­ward booked, much to the de­light of the Town fans; the striker would iron­i­cally ap­plaud the South Stand when he was sub­sti­tuted later.

The game then ended in sim­i­lar scenes to last sea­son as nearly all the play­ers con­verged to quell a heated ex­change be­tween Dale Ben­nett and sub­sti­tute Con­nor Hughes af­ter the for­mer had ac­cused the lat­ter of div­ing. Hal­i­fax: John­son, Bolton, Brown, Bencherif (Hughes 84), Roberts, Wroe, James, Walker (Peniket 46), McManus, J Macdon­ald (Fairhurst 62), Bur­row. Subs not used: Porter, Hibbs. Shots on tar­get: 4 Shots off tar­get: 5 Cor­ners: 3 For­est Green: Arnold, Racine, Ben­nett, Pipe, Jen­nings, Clough, Carter, Sin­clair (Wil­liams 90), Marsh-Brown, Parkin (Moore 70), Frear (Guthrie 78). Subs not used: Kelly, Cooper. Scor­ers: Parkin (19), Frear (30) Shots on tar­get: 8 Shots off tar­get: 6 Cor­ners: 2 At­ten­dance: 1,329 Town man of the match: Scott McManus

Jor­dan Bur­row shoots at the Shay last Satur­day

Pic­tures: Jim Fit­ton

Josh Macdon­ald has an ef­fort blocked by a For­est Green op­po­nent

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