IAN Long insists key decisions went against his Alvechurch side during their 3-1 defeat to top of the table Kettering this week.

The Church found themselves a goal down inside two minutes after Kettering were awarded a controversial penalty.

Jamie Willetts was judged to have brought down Kettering striker Rhys Hoenes, who got up to score from the resulting spot kick.

Unhappy Long claimed: "Hoenes bought the penalty. I watched the video afterwards and there's not enough in it, yet the referee has given a penalty.

"I wasn't happy about Kettering's second goal either. Our player was shielding the ball as it was going out of play.

"He goes down with the Kettering player challenging for the ball and normally the referee gives it in favour of the defender, but instead he gives Kettering the free kick from which they score three minutes into first half stoppage time.

"I clearly thought that on both occasions the referee favoured the bigger club and I spoke to him about it.

"I thought we were a real match for Kettering and I was delighted how we responded following the penalty and got back to level through Dan O'Callghan.

"I've no complaints about the third goal though. We pressed the self destruct button following a mix-up between goalkeeper Matt Sargeant and defender Kyle Morrison. You cannot legislate for individual errors or decisions."

Despite the defeat Long was full of praise for midfield player David Bellis who featured despite still under the influence of injury.

Long said: "He's one of those players who always wants to play whether he carrying an injury or not. He's the type of player you would want next to you in the trenches.

"I call him my cement, because he holds everything together."

The Church head for Barwell this Saturday before Long sets off as part of Paul Fairclough's England C backroom staff who take on Estonia next Wednesday at Leyton Orient.