Holt disappointed as 'big' decisions go Gills' way

Grant Holt claimed he had as good a case for a penalty as the one which was awarded to Gillingham. With time running out and City looking for a winner, the striker took possession on the right side of the Gillingham penalty area.

Grant Holt claimed he had as good a case for a penalty as the one which was awarded to Gillingham.

With time running out and City looking for a winner, the striker took possession on the right side of the Gillingham penalty area. As he went away from goal, home keeper Simon Royce challenged him from behind and sent the City man tumbling.

The visiting fans behind the goal screamed penalty - as vehemently as they had opposed the one awarded by referee Paul Taylor in the first half.

This time there was nothing doing, leaving Holt - denied a penalty at MK Dons a fortnight ago - bemoaning his lot.


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"I think the decision towards the end was big," said Holt. "The ref had his own view, he said I tumbled a bit easy, but I'm not sure. I think their lad in the first half did the same thing."

Holt had used his head and set up Darel Russell's dramatic equaliser, heading Wes Hoolahan's corner against the woodwork for the midfielder to nod home the rebound.

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"It's a cross from Wes, I've headed it and I think the goalie's let the ball hit the bar and Rusty's thankfully put it in," explained Holt.

"We had a good little spell for five or 10 minutes when it looked like we were going to get something and there again it looked like we weren't going to - we didn't take our chances really and thankfully we got the point in the end."

For the second game in a row City left it late to equalise - Holt's injury-time header seven days earlier had earned City a 2-2 draw at home to Charlton.

"We don't want to keep doing it in that manner, it's hard work to keep doing it like that obviously," said Holt. "We had a spell of 20 minutes in the first half where if we'd scored it would have been a different game, but we didn't take our chances when we were on top, then gave away a poor goal.

"We have to stop that we know, but it's pleasing in one aspect that we keep going. We're working hard and that's what the manager has instilled in us."

It was the sending off of Forster which handed Declan Rudd his first senior appearance - and Holt believes he is capable of making the most of his opportunity.

"He played well," said Holt. "He was a bit nervy when he first came on, but you have got to take that as a young lad, but obviously we know what Dec is all about. He's been away with England, he's very good and it's maybe the chance he will get now to get a run in the team and fair play to him, I'm sure he will take it with both hands."

Holt may have expected heroics from Rudd in goal - perhaps he didn't expect him in the penalty area as City went for the equaliser.

"I think he even gave a shout to Rusty to leave it," said Holt, with a smile. "I'm just delighted for him. He's been waiting a long time for his chance. It's great for him - it's always nice to get your debut and he'll be pleased with that."

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