COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney labelled the second-half as “a crazy, frustrating day” as the Bannsiders were beaten by Linfield at The Showgrounds…
The Stripes would lose at home for the first time in over a year as Christy Manzinga and Stephen Fallon netted for the Blues after Rodney Brown’s header broke the deadlock.
However, the manner of the second goal irked Kearney as the ball hit referee Tim Marshall in the build-up to the goal.
“Goals are scored in football and you have no issue with that,” he continued.
“It’s the manner of the second one as by the looks of it, it hits the referee’s hand you see a reaction from him as he pulls his hands away.
“He should stop the game and beyond that he’s obstructed Stephen Lowry as he started favourite for the ball and the referee’s position isn’t good and he’s impinged on him no matter what happens.
“How he doesn’t stop the game there I don’t know.
“It’s a big blow for us so quickly into the second-half and it takes us 15 or 20 minutes to recover from.”
However, despite voicing his frustration at the decisive third goal of the contest, Kearney knows his side created enough chances to get something from the game.
“I thought in the first-half we were really strong and we got punished for the only lapse that we had which allowed Linfield to get into the game,” Kearney told Coleraine TV.
“We re-grouped at half-time and the plan was to have a right good go in the second-half.
“The frustrating thing is the manner of the second goal for Linfield and also the timing of it.
“With it happening so quickly in the half and with human nature it ruined the next 15 or 20 minutes.
“The crowd went dead, the players went dead and everything went dead and it was very hard for us to get up and running again.
“We lost 15 or 20 minutes of the game which were vital at that moment in time.
“Credit to the players as I thought from 65 minutes on we got up and going again and from then on in, we are our own downfall as we created enough chances to score.
“It’s easy to score chances when you’re two or three goals ahead but it’s harder to put them away when you’re 2-1 down and the pressure is there.
“We’ve had two or three crazy ones from headers at corners, there’s been chances in the six-yard box and it’s turned out to be a crazy, frustrating second-half of a game that you didn’t envisage going that way.”
Over 3,300 people attended the fixture on the Ballycastle Road and Kearney was appreciative of the support ahead of next weekend’s trip to Glenavon.
“It’s brilliant to see the bumper crowd,” he shared.
“However, on days like this, we shouldn’t be standing talking about refereeing decisions elsewhere.
“We should be talking about football, goals and everything else that goes with it.
“It’s frustrating from that point of view but it’s brilliant to see the levels of crowd we are getting and the buzz about the place.
“It will be a tough game against Glenavon.
“We are hurting at the minute but we will regroup Tuesday and Thursday and it’s important we get back on the winning trail again.”