COLERAINE boss Rodney McAree spoke to the press after yesterday’s Irish Cup defeat to Crusaders…
The Bannsiders fell behind to David Cushley’s penalty but were controversially denied a spot kick of their own when Jamie Glackin was brought down inside the area. Referee Tim Marshall originally pointed to the spot but changed his mind under the advice of his linesman.
The result was put to bed with four minutes to go as Jordan Owens converted from the spot after referee Tim Marshall awarded Crusaders a second spot kick.
Speaking after the game, McAree was frustrated with the officials’ display at The Oval.
“It’s a penalty kick on Jamie,” he said.
“My recollection was that Tim was in a good position and he’s the senior referee and he’s the one that’s looking on to it from a closer distance than the assistant, but he has decided that he’ll overrule Tim.
“The magnitude of that decision you have to make sure that you get it right and he has to be 100 per cent sure.
“There are a lot of people that suffer – the players suffer first and foremost, the staff will suffer, the club will suffer, the directors, the people who put long hours into it because it’s an opportunity to try and get into the final of the Irish Cup.
“You’re not guaranteed that you’re going to win the game but you give yourself a better chance at that stage we score as I thought we were in the ascendancy at that time.
“I thought we were the better team at that stage and we could well have won on and won it – who knows?
“But at the end of the day the linesman has cost us that opportunity of doing that.
“Crusaders end up winning the game on two penalty kicks and what the second one was for I’m not sure. There was nobody in the ground appealed for anything and I thought it was soft.”
McAree believed the Stripes were the better side in the opening 45 minutes but decisions made after the break ‘crucified’ his players.
“Referees get security and people to usher them off the pitch and then they lock themselves up in a little room,” he added.
“At the end of the day from my point of view, what happens to the people who make these bad decisions?
“Managers, players, coaching staff and everyone connected to clubs all suffer by making bad decisions through turning in poor performances from all points of view.
“If players turn in poor performances it costs them opportunities and costs them their positions in the club.
“He’ll probably get a ban for a couple of weeks or he’ll get stood down for a couple of weeks – he’ll go to somewhere like Dollingstown next week where he’ll not pick as much money up, three-quarters of it, and he’ll be back running the line in a couple of weeks.
“It’s criminal and it’s crucified us.
“This club targets European football.
“Our best opportunity before this match was Irish Cup glory so we had to get into the final.
“It was 1-0 at that stage and without creating a lot of chances I thought we were the better side.
“I believe that we were the better side in the first half without creating chances and I thought we started the game well in the second half.
“We gave a poor penalty away through a poor decision and ultimately the next decision has crucified us.
“Crusaders had one or two chances after that but I think that was more so because it was a cup tie and we were trying to get back into it.”
The manager admits he will have to lift his players for the post-split fixtures, with a European play-off also on the horizon.
“You go into your dressing room to your players after an Irish Cup semi-final defeat and you say we need to pick ourselves up, we need to go again, we’ve still a good chance of Europe – players feel just want to turn round and tell you to f**k off and rightly so,” he concluded.
“My personal point of view is that I shouldn’t be in that position, we should have had a better opportunity of qualifying for the final if officiating had been done to a better level.
“I don’t like talking about officials but it’s probably a quarter of a million pounds you’re talking about and I’m not telling any lies.”