North Notts left to rue umpiring calls

Joshua Singleton attacks for North Notts.
Joshua Singleton attacks for North Notts.

A battling display from North Notts could not put an end to their run of defeats as they went down 3-1 at home to Stourport.

The hosts were not helped by the absence of influential player William Butler, but they were still determined to put up a fight.

The game got off to a steady start with both sides taking possession and moving the ball around well on the Manor Park pitch.

It was not until the 10-minute mark that the game got into full flow when Stourport managed to break away to shoot just wide.

This stirred Notts into life as Marc Johnson combined with Alan Butler before sending an attempt over the bar.

Stourport kept on the offensive with several moves, but these were calmly tidied up by Anthony Clay and Matthew Kanalas in the defensive line, helped out by some great goalkeeping from Paul Unwin.

Leading into half-time it looked like Notts might take a lead, only for another effort from Alan Butler to be deflected to safety by the visiting keeper.

The second half started with Notts up against it as Joshua Singleton was issued with a yellow card for obstructing play.

Stourport failed to convert the resulting short corner, but there was another setback for the hosts as centre back Kanalas went off with a gash in his leg that would later require stitches.

Despite that, Notts upped the tempo as shots from Alan Butler slipped past the post and then a further drive from Adam Moss also went close.

Stourport’s frustration then boiled over so that one of their players was also shown a yellow card.

And the feelings of dismay did not end there as Jason Barton made what Notts felt was a great tackle on an attacker in the D.

However, the umpire on the halfway line controversially called for a penalty stroke to be awarded.

Stourport made no mistake with that chance as the stroke was placed in the top right corner beyond the reach of keeper Unwin by the visitors’ ex international player.

The visitors were then able to double their lead from a short corner soon after, leaving the hosts up against it.

But Notts kept the pressure up with nothing to lose and it finally paid off with a fantastic dive from Barton in the D to deflect the ball into the back of the net.

As the game came to a close, Stourport managed to convert again to extend their lead to 3-1.

In reality, though, the strike was to make little difference as it was all over for Notts at that point.

Notts’ manager Jay Faulkner said: “ To lose the game was very disappointing.

“We have to say Stourport had all the play, but we felt we were good for at least a point.

“We are disappointed at the decisions given, but ultimately it’s out of our hands.

“We have to bounce back again next week away at Wolverhampton in what is our last game before the Christmas break.”