Neil Howarth column: We felt in control, until the strange decision
WE KNEW that we were always going to be in for a difficult game up at Bradford City.
They are a much-improved team on recent seasons and are a big, strong, well organised, hard-working outfit.
In their front two of James Hanson and Nahki Wells they have height and pace and that combination often results in at least one of them scoring.
The nearly 10,000 supporters they have obviously made for a good and intimidating atmosphere and it was up to us to try and quiet them.
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We knew from past encounters that the fans can turn on them when things are going against them and we managed to get in front with a very well-taken Marlon Pack penalty kick.
I thought at that stage we were pretty much in control of the game and dealing very well with the threat posed by them.
I felt as though we were in the kind of position that we have been in many times over the last few seasons away from home with us ready to go on and win the match.
And then in the 45th minute we broke away with Jermaine McGlashan down the left wing. He was through one-on-one with their last defender, did a couple of step overs, jinked past him and then got smashed to the floor.
The referee put the whistle to his mouth but must have forgotten to blow because the most blatant penalty of the season was not given!
To be given the opportunity on the stroke of half time to go 2-0 up would have seen us comfortably go on to win the match by possibly even more goals.
Looking at this incident again after the game, thinking that at the time it looked a stone wall foul, only made our frustrations worse.
I know referees do make mistakes and have good or bad days like the rest of us, but there are some decisions that they should never get wrong.
And that was a decision that there was no reason whatsoever for him to get wrong. He was in a great position, saw the foul, and yet never give it.
Then sure enough you could almost guarantee what would happen next.
A slip by Sido in the fourth minute of first half injury time gave Bradford the opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot.
Wells stuck the ball away and you could almost sense the dynamics of the game had changed. Bradford came out second half buoyed by the score line that should have seen them dead and buried but now on level terms and showed their quality by going on to win the match.
We are obviously frustrated with a couple of decisions as we would have really cemented our position in the top three.
However, it was not meant to be but we have to put it behind us now and prepare properly for the game with Plymouth.
On Sunday we were able to gather round the television and watch the draw for the first round of the FA Cup. I've said before that watching a cup draw when you are in the hat is always very exciting.
We were lucky enough to get to the third round of the Cup last season and waiting for our name to get pulled out the hat when there was still some big Premier League boys in there was one of the highlights of last season.
Our aim is obviously to get to that stage of the competition at least again and to do that we will firstly have to overcome either Yate or Newport.
Whoever we play will pose us different problems but when we come round to FA Cup day we will have to be at our best to progress.