Evan Horwood admits he should have celebrated amid penalty confusion

Hartlepool United V Bradford City Johnson Paint Trophy 2nd Round. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool United V Bradford City Johnson Paint Trophy 2nd Round. Picture by FRANK REID

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EVAN Horwood regrets not celebrating amid the confusion of his penalty-shootout miss during the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Bradford City.

The Pools midfielder saw his powerful blast diverted on to the crossbar by goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin before it bounced down into the goalmouth area.

Ref Graham Salisbury stalled in declaring the Bantams winners – Horwood had to score to keep the contest alive – and it was at least 10 seconds before he decided the effort had been saved.“I wish I’d celebrated because I reckon they would have given it,” Horwood told SportMail.

“Everyone looked at each other a few times before the referee made his mind up.

“That sums it up at the moment – nothing is going our way and it’s just not happening for us right now.

“I’ve never missed a penalty before and I was the first one to say I’d take one.

“But it was a great save and he was very good all night.”

Horwood’s desire for progress in the competition was heightened by his own experience with Carlisle United three seasons’ ago when they were beaten by Southampton in the final at Wembley.

And he went on: “I’m gutted to go out because I played in the final a few years ago and it was one of the best days I’ve ever had.

“So I wanted to take that penalty and try to get us through.

“On top of that we desperately need a win for confidence right now.

“The performances have not been bad I don’t feel, it’s just not going our way.”

A goalless 90 minutes had triggered the immediate shootout, and, of the game, Horwood reflected: “We were hit and miss all night.

“They had a lot of experienced players who I’ve played against quite a few times and they were decent.

“We had a younger team out and both teams had chances to win it.

“We’ve just got to try to get over it and work even harder now.”