Mark Draycott - sent off in seasonal opener
Paulton Rovers 0 Hungerford Town 0
MANAGER Bobby Wilkinson declared himself ‘pleased as punch’ after his Hungerford side came through intact after playing 39 minutes with 10 men following the sending off of skipper Mark Draycott.
The striker was shown a straight red card after clattering into Paulton goalkeeper Ben John early in the second half, but the finger of blame was pointed at Rovers defender Shayne Anson.
Draycott’s defence that he was pushed into the goalkeeper was supported by his manager, who said: “He shoved him into the goalie and he couldn’t do anything about.”
And referee Jonathan Hollier’s decision was out of step with others in a game that saw Anson hammer into Mike Jones early on and leave the midfielder spreadeagled, only to receive a yellow card. And midway through the second period, Rovers skipper Scott Brice took out Paul Strudley late and again collected only a yellow card.
“I’m absolutely pleased as punch with a point,” he said, “but not so pleased when we should have taken three points.
“But we showed grit and determination when down to 10 men, and we’re on the board. The boys deserve credit for it.”
Hungerford’s main disappointment was that with so much firepower in the ranks, they failed to get off the mark. Alan O’Brien flashed a couple of crosses over the box and linked with Diak John, but Nat Jarvis could not connect in front of goal.
Paulton almost made the breakthrough five minutes after the interval when Paul Strudley was penalised for handling outside the box, but veteran Aaron Brown’s free kick cannoned back of the post, and after Draycott’s dismissal Mitchell Page latched onto the end of a Strudley punch but Diak John cleared off the line.
Hungerford brought on Stefan Brown and Kelvin Bossman to keep two up front and Jones almost worked his way through before being crowded out as Rovers settled for a point.
Paulton Rovers: B. John; Grimsdale, Anson, Brice, Teale; Bament (C. Brown), Osman, Mullings, A. Brown; Knighton, Page (O’Hare). Subs: Thomas, Allan, Byrne.
Hungerford Town: Strudley; Tyler, Rusby, Day, D. John; Clark, Jones, Rees, O’Brien (Brown); Draycott, Jarvis (K. Bossman). Subs: Goodger, Horgan, Stow.