Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath blasts referee after two penalty appeals turned down in 1-1 draw at Bradford (Park Avenue)

Reece Styche
Reece Styche

Frustrated Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath was angry after refereeing decisions cost the Reds two points in a 1-1 draw at play-off chasing Bradford (Park Avenue).

The mid-table visitors did stretch their unbeaten run to seven matches — and maintained their record of scoring in every competitive away game this season.

Alfreton Town manager Billy Heath. Photo: Jez Tighe

Alfreton Town manager Billy Heath. Photo: Jez Tighe

But after substitute Reece Styche had returned from international duty with Gibraltar to put the Reds ahead in the 76th minute with a fine overhead kick, Gianluca Havern levelled four minutes from time.

The late leveller left the Reds rueing missed chances and two strong penalty appeals being waved away.

Heath blasted: “At this level of football his (the referee) decision-making should have been a lot better.

“Reece’s penalty shout was 100% nailed on. It wasn’t even a dubious decision — it was so obvious. He [Styche] has gone past the lad and the lad bit, but what can you do? We see this most weeks.

“Then just before that the one on (Danny) Clarke, we’ve seen them given before.

“Then everything seemed to turn after that for the remaining minutes. Everything seemed to be against us and in the end Bradford got the goal.

“It’s disappointing, because all you can ask is for your players to put a shift in to work hard, and that’s what they did against a good Bradford side.”

Commenting on Styche’s superb overhead kick goal, Heath added: “We know what Styche can do — he’s a goalscorer.

“He’s done a lot of travelling after being on international duty for 10 days. He only came back on Thursday and he had part of the [training] session.

“Fatigue and everything that goes with travelling away is the reason he was on the benc. We knew we would try to use him at some point, and when we did he’s done what goalscorers do and scored a goal. That’s a big plus.

“l thought all the players again were fantastic. Bradford haven’t been out of the play-offs since week two of the season and we’ve come here and, to be brutally honest, deserved to win. But certain individuals decided that that wasn’t going to happen.”

Heath said the Reds needed to try to tretch their unbeaten record, starting with Saturday’s home match against Altrincham.

But he added: “l think this season is going to finish too early for us, but we’ve got to keep the same standards that we are at now.

“We’ve had our ups and downs this season, but now we’re really finding form and we look a good team.

“Defensively we’re very, very solid. The full unit looks good as a team.”