Sports

Halsey Thinks Ref Got It Wrong

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Halsey Thinks Ref Got It Wrong thumbnailNEWRY City’s Stephen McCabe takes on two Crumlin Star players on Saturday at the Showgrounds.

FORMER Premier League referee Mark Halsey has said a penalty should have been awarded in the closing stages of Newry City's Intermediate Cup loss to Crumlin Star.

Newry City Afc ...2
Crumlin Star ...3

As Darren Mullen's men trailed 3-2 in the dying minutes, Crumlin Star's Hawkins made contact with the head of Newry's Marcus McKeown in the penalty box but referee Andrew Woodside decided to award an indirect free kick instead of a penalty.

Newry City cameraman Ally McKenzie, tweeted the highlights of the game to Halsey asking for his opinion of the incident.

On Sunday evening, Halsey, who has over 13,000 Twitter followers, said: "IMO [in my opinion] Ally, a penalty should have been awarded. Lots of talking points in this game."

Following the game, Newry City manager Darren Mullen was also critical of the standard of referring after he watched his side let a two goal lead slip.

However, Mullen will be most concerned by the amount of goals his team have been conceding, particularly after leading the game.

It has been a trait which has seen them crash out of two cups and lose valuable league points.

Speaking after the game, Mullen said that the referees must be "fit for purpose".

“I have to watch what I say about officials but what I will say is that although it's a difficult job, they have to be fit for purpose," said the Newry City manager.

“We've gone from winning 2-1, with a clear penalty to make it 3-1, to having a man sent off for apparently diving and losing 3-2 to a clear offside goal.

“If we were beat without playing well I would be the first to admit it but to lose in the manner we did is very frustrating.

“Our first half performance was exactly what we wanted and we were well worth our two goal lead.

“The players were well warned that the game was far from over at half time and although their first goal was well taken we still should have seen the game out.

“Although certain decisions didn't help we still need to defend a lot better and it's something I need to deal with before we get back to league action next Saturday."

The Newry lads created a host of chances in the first half from which they grabbed two fine goals thanks to quality finishes from Mark Hughes and Keith Johnston.

The opening goal came from a Johnston corner which was headed by a Star defender to the edge of the box, from where Mark Hughes smashed a perfect left foot volley into the top corner of the net.

Five minutes before the break Newry doubled their advantage. McKeown burst forward from half way before playing the ball wide to Hughes, he in turn took the ball to the end line before spotting Johnston's clever run to find space at the near post.

The striker opened his body to side foot the ball into the roof of the Star net to put Newry 2-0 up at the break.

That was as good as it got for Newry as they allowed the visitors back into the game shortly after the restart.

Centre forward Fearon cleverly rolled his marker on the edge of the box before giving Peter Murphy no chance with an unstoppable shot.

Both teams swapped chances before the decisive moment of the game. Referee Woodside ruled that Kevin McArdle had dived in an attempt to win a penalty as he arrived at speed into the Star penalty area.

Having previously booked McArdle, the referee brandished a second yellow leaving Newry with 10 men.

They paid the price for that on 65 minutes when Kevin Trainor found Fearon unmarked at the back post to make it 2-2.

If Newry felt aggrieved by the referee worse was to come on 80 minutes when the stylish Barry McKevrey hooked a long ball forward for Ciaran Murphy, who appeared to be yards offside, to run onto and nonchalantly lob the ball over Murphy to put his side 3-2 ahead.

Newry threw caution to the wind in the final minutes and believed they had won a penalty kick after Hawkins raised his boot as he attempted to clear a bouncing ball only to make contact with the head of Marcus McKeown.

The referee opted to award an indirect free kick to the home side which came to nothing leaving the final score 3-2 in favour of Crumlin Star.

Newry City's next came is this Saturday (January 28) at Dundela, kick off 2pm. Newry City's travel club bus will leave The Stonebridge at 12.15pm.

NEWRY CITY AFC: Murphy, Hughes, McArdle, Mullen, Curran, McKeown, McCann, Lowry, McCabe, Johnston, Hughes. Subs: Grant, Walker, Patton, Mooney, McCaul.

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