What a balls upBy Nick Ive
October 20, 2008
Brothers Noel and Stephen Hunt played down their full-time whistle bust-up with Preston’s stewards after some cynical time-wasting.
With Reading trailing 2-1 in the dying moments of the game, winger Stephen was forced to climb halfway up the Sir Tom Finney Stand to retrieve the ball after the multi-ball system was stopped.
And after the final whistle the winger and his brother had a furious altercation with a steward, who was spotted mockingly waving at Reading’s equally outraged away supporters housed in the same stand.
The Hunt brothers refused to use the termination of Preston’s multi-ball system as an excuse for Royals’ 2-1 defeat.
But there was confusion over who took the decision.
Noel Hunt said: “They cut out the multi-ball and the referee didn’t know anything about it. I think it was a bit of a tactic from them (Preston).
“We were a bit upset because we thought the ball could have been returned quicker.
“The steward came on – he was a bit aggressive, but it was heat of the moment stuff and it’s forgotten now. It was harmless. Preston slowed the game down, but all credit to them because it worked and they scored a second goal, but we had chances to win the game.
Stephen Hunt said: “It is frustrating. They are 2-1 up and the ball disappears. But they won the game and there are no complaints.
“I went to get the ball because it wasn’t coming back quick enough.
“Preston were winning so you can’t blame them (for not getting it). They are saying it was the fourth official who pulled the multi-ball system. And they are an honest bunch.”
Read Monday's Evening Post for the full story.