Sending off ruined the game - says Shiels

KENNY Shiels praised his players for clawing out a ‘fantastic’ point in Galway on Friday night but the Derry boss felt he needed to apologise to supporters who were ‘deprived of entertainment’.

Shiels was critical of the performance of match referee, Jim McKell who issued two yellow cards to City midfielder Conor McCormack inside the opening 28 minutes.

And after injuries to Rory Patterson and Lucas Schubert in that opening period, everything seemed to be going against the visitors.

The Derry manager was forced into a quick reshuffle of his pack and he felt the players deserved great credit for coming away from Eamon Deacy Park with a point, which meant they consolidated third spot going into the midseason interval.

“We have people who have paid a lot of money to travel and see some entertainment and they were deprived of that,” said Shiels.

“We lost a couple of players to injury as well, which happens. We had to mishmash the team but the players deserve so much credit to come away with a point.

“The sending off took away from the entertainment,” he added. “If you’re trying to produce quality, the quality control has been taken away and we didn’t have that flair because we couldn’t attack.

“When we did attack we looked dangerous but it was sporadic. I felt we had to be very cautious as we went forward. I thought Dean Jarvis gave us good outlets on the counter attacks. Josh (Daniels) and Nathan (Boyle) worked themselves to a standstill and we had to ask Keith Ward to play in a defensive role which is not playing to his strengths,

“Everybody dug in and you can’t say anyone didn’t contribute to a fantastic point.

“Their goalkeeper has made two great saves and our goalkeeper has made two great saves.

“In one of them, Conor McDermott is going for the scraps at the edge of the box and the referee goes straight in front of him and stops him from getting the ball.

“They’re taught in their referees’ training about angles and distances and where to be in relation to the ball and he seen the ball going into that area and stepped in front of Conor.

I couldn’t believe he did that.”