After 639 minutes of football, Hampton & Richmond Borough have finally conceded a goal – they also lost a player to a red card – but you will not hear too many complaints from boss Mark
The clean-sheet record – which ran from the final match of last season and has included six shut-outs this term – was broken when Lowestoft opened the scoring on nine minutes at the Beveree on
Charlie Moone’s swift and spectacular equaliser ensured a share of the spoils in a match marred by some over-aggressive Lowestoft pressure on the referee and Tom Hickey’s straight red card for a
late challenge in the dying moments.
But Harper had few issues with the result and was pleased with his side’s efforts.
He said: “The referee dealt with their antics very well, he could have got carried away with some of the ways Lowestoft crowded round him and put him under pressure.
“They are an experienced side with an experienced management team and they put the message out there to try and intimidate the referee and us, whereas my guys are a little bit younger and a
little more naive when it comes to that side of the game.”
“I prefer my players to play football and not be constantly in the referee's face – I think there is a respect that is needed.
“It goes on too much on the television, where they get on to the referee and force them to take a backward step. There is no need for that part of the game, just play your football.
“But that was Lowestoft's style of doing things and credit to them, it worked on the day. We ended up getting a player sent off, they didn’t.”
The Beavers had chances to win Saturday’s top of the table clash, with Gary Holloway’s overhead kick hitting a post, leaving Harper with a bitter-sweet aftertaste.
He said: “We had chances to put the game to bed before the break and that is disappointing.
“When we conceded that goal there was a chance the players would react to losing the record but their response with the quick equaliser was exactly what I would expect.”
The Beavers travel to Ryman Division One North side Waltham Forest tomorrow in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.