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Holt gets a kick out of draw

PUBLISHED: 11:09 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:33 01 August 2010

GRANT Holt believes referee Steve Tanner did City a favour on Saturday.

The official gave Charlton skipper Nicky Bailey a ticking off - but no card - for an off-the-ball kick at Holt at the end of the first half, moments after City had pulled it back to 2-1.

GRANT Holt believes referee Steve Tanner did City a favour on Saturday.

The official gave Charlton skipper Nicky Bailey a ticking off - but no card - for an off-the-ball kick at Holt at the end of the first half, moments after City had pulled it back to 2-1.

And while Holt disagreed with the reasoning behind that, he believes it spurred on City - and their fans - to come back and secure a dramatic draw.

It was Holt who got the equaliser, heading home in injury time after coming off best in an aerial challenge with Addicks' keeper Rob Elliot.

Holt said Mr Tanner got it right on that occasion - although that's as far as the compliments extended.

"It wasn't even a tackle, the ball has gone, we're about the play and he's just kicked me down," said Holt.

"He (Charlton boss Phil Parkinson) is saying I made a meal of it, but if someone stamps on your calf I think you're going to go down.

"For him not to give any decision, as in a yellow card, is a bit of a disgrace. It makes a mockery of the whole first half and he caused all the problems that he got himself."

The incident enraged City boss Paul Lambert, who had earlier seen Jens Berthel Askou booked for a challenge on Jonjo Shelvey, but Holt says that, coupled with the City goal, it acted as a spur.

"I think things like that do," he said.

"Obviously we felt a bit aggrieved. We are not trying to get people sent off, that's not our job, we're here to play football, but for him not to even book the midfielder it's a bit of a disgrace and I think the ref lost it for 10, 15 minutes.

"I think he was praying for the half-time more than we were.

"I think the ref gave the crowd something to moan about when he hasn't booked the midfielder for his off-the-ball antics. That and the goal gives everyone that lift when we come out for the second half to get behind us and I think they were massive to us today."

City's second-half performance was rewarded in time added on, although it was Charlton's turn to complain to Mr Tanner, claiming Holt's challenge with Elliot was unfair.

"I thought they'd say that - that's their opinion," he said. "If the goalie wants to come for the ball and he's not strong enough to get it then he shouldn't let us head it. That's football. He can't have every decision.

"The referee gave them as much as he wanted today and obviously they wanted a little bit more.

"When I went for the ball I think there was no way the goalie was going to get it. He was out swinging and he's got I think three yards to come out claim it and he's come and missed the ball and it's hit me and gone in.

"I got the touch. He missed and I headed it and I think we are fortunate that it went in. But I think they were lucky with the two chances we missed before.

"I am not there to foul, I am there to win the ball and score goals and that's what I've done.

"It's a goal that the referee has given and it's a valid goal.

"Goalies nowadays get pampered with things like that and they go and smash into people and get away with it.

"Just because he's come and missed it doesn't mean that the referee should pull him out of the sticky stuff. It's just bad goalkeeping at the end of the day and we're happy in there we got the draw - I think if we'd scored 10, 15 minutes earlier we'd have won the game."

Parkinson later accused Holt of "making a meal of challenges", which brought an inevitable response.

"If he analysed the game and how many times their midfielder has whacked Wes Hoolahan today I'm sure he'd be in double figures and he never got booked," he said.

Aside from those controversies there was the matter of City hauling back a two-goal deficit - and Holt believes it could have been even better.

"We are unfortunate we didn't take the chances we got given," Holt said.

"In the first half we gave two cheap goals away. I think we dominated the game first half.

"I don't think they had a spell they could say that - maybe 10 minutes in the second half we were a little bit panicky, we slashed the ball away a bit too much, but I think overall we dominated the game."

Holt could have made it 1-1, but was off target on 25 minutes.

"I'm disappointed with myself," he said.

"I should hit the target. I've tried a bit of power. I thought the boy (Miguel Llera) was a bit closer than he was.

"It's one of those things, but I should have tucked it away.

"Next time I will."

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