Harrogate Town 2 FC Halifax Town 2: Simon Weaver slams Warren Burrell red card decision

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver slammed referee Simon Mather’s decision to show Warren Burrell a straight red card in Tuesday’s National League draw with F.C. Halifax Town.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 11:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 11:05 am
Warren Burrell was shown a controversial red card in Harrogate Town's 2-2 draw with FC Halifax Town. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Warren Burrell was shown a controversial red card in Harrogate Town's 2-2 draw with FC Halifax Town. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Despite being down to 10 men, the hosts managed to salvage a late point courtesy of Josh Staunton’s stoppage-time own goal.

And, while pleased with his players’ comeback against their Yorkshire rivals, Weaver was left to rue the dismissal of Burrell after he caught Liam Nolan with a high foot.

"It's a shocking decision and it has to be rescinded," the Town boss fumed.

"It's not just raw emotion after a game, I've seen the video, it is really poor refereeing.

"He [Burrell] didn't see him [Nolan]. He looked at the flight of the ball all the way and there wasn't much contact. We've got good video coverage of it, so there can be no excuse for the FA not to rescind it.

"We'll launch the appeal immediately. It has to be rescinded."

Harrogate were the better side on the night, but began the contest poorly and were punished with just 11 minutes on the clock.

Jeff King was felled in the penalty area and Liam McAlinden stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick.

And the same player almost made it 2-0 when he displayed searing pace on the counter-attack, running away from Will Smith down the left and forcing James Belshaw to tip his well-struck effort around the post.

Town's best chance of the opening 45 fell to the head of Smith, however the centre-half cleared the cross-bar after being picked out by Ryan Fallowfield's inviting right-wing cross.

Weaver's men were out of the blocks quickly in the second period and, with their visitors dropping progressively deeper, a sustained spell of pressure resulted in an equalising goal in the 54th minute.

George Thomson delivered a dangerous low centre from the right and the ball found its way past Halifax stopper Sam Johnston at his near post.

The home team continued to look the more likely, Josh Falkingham's volley saved by Johnston before Thomson's diving header from a corner flew just over the top.

But, it was to be Halifax who struck next, Jamie Allen drilling a low ball across the face of goal from the right for substitute Cameron King to finish first time.

With time running out, the hosts looked to be finished when Mr Mather controversially sent Burrell off despite the Town midfielder being unsighted when he caught the stooping Nolan in the face as he extended his leg to meet a James Belshaw clearance.

There is however plenty of spirt in this Harrogate camp, and, in the second minute of added-time they levelled matters for a second time.

Brendan Kiernan's cross from the left wing eventually fell for Fallowfield at the back post and his ball back across the face of goal found its way into the Shaymen's net via the unfortunate Staunton.

Town drop one place to seventh as a result, though they remain just four points shy of top spot ahead of their trip to Sutton United at the weekend.