AFC Fylde 0 Harrogate Town 0: Jon Stead frustrated by handball decision

Harrogate Town's Jon Stead in action against AFC Fylde. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town's Jon Stead in action against AFC Fylde. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Jon Stead said he was left frustrated by the controversial handball decision that denied him a first goal in Harrogate Town colours.

The former Notts County striker found the back of the net in the 73rd minute of Bank Holiday Monday's National League clash at AFC Fylde.

Having closed down Coasters defender Kyle Jameson as he attempted to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper, Stead won possession, ran clear and finished confidently past James Montgomery.

His celebrations were however cut short by referee Joseph Johnson on the advice of one of his assistants.

"The linesman said he's given it for handball," Stead explained.

"As I've gone to close down the defender he's tried to play it back, I've blocked it with my foot, it's bouncing, might have clipped my fingers, I couldn't really tell you either way, but my issue is that it's not given me an advantage.

"That ball's still going that way, I'm still going to get on to it and it's not going to change the outcome.

"There's obviously a little bit of change with the ruling. Last season it wouldn't even have been spoken about, it would've been a goal, it's just funny how every other person in the stadium didn't have an issue with it, apart from the linesman.

"It's a tough one to take. I was pleased with the finish. It would've been nice to get off the mark."

Stead arrived at Wetherby Road this summer from Notts County but is yet to start a league game for his new club.

Having been restricted to just substitute appearances thus far, the ex-Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town hitman admits that he is keen for more minutes on the pitch.

"For me personally, it's about making an impact when I'm coming on because I'm champing at the bit to play more, but the lads have been doing well," he added.

"I've got a split responsibility of encouraging and advising and helping but at the same time pushing them because I want to be playing as well, so it's a good dynamic."