DERRY City’s talented left-winger, Stephen McLaughlin, was furious that Shamrock Rovers’ centre-half, Craig Sives was not dismissed for what he believed was a ‘last man offence’ when impeding David McDaid on Friday night.
SIMON COLLINS reports
And the Isle of Doagh man also felt Rovers’ players had been play-acting throughout the game, feigning injury and, at the same time, getting City players booked by the referee as a result.
Compounding matters was the slender defeat which McLaughlin said was “hard to take.”
“It’s very hard to take because they never really threatened us,” he claimed. “Gerard (Doherty) made one save in the first half when we made a defensive mistake but, apart from that, they never really created anything of note.
“And they should have been a man down because Craig Sives should have been red carded in my opinion. Davy was clean through on goal but the referee claimed that because he hasn’t touched the ball, then he can’t send him off!
“I don’t know where he got that from as it was a clear sending off, Sives was the last man and he fouled Davy as he tried to break forward,” insisted the winger.
“Those decisions change games but we still had 60 or 70 minutes to win the match. In fairness to Rovers, we’ve only created one real chance as well when Ruaidhri Higgins’ shot was touched over the bar but Ryan McBride missed an absolute sitter at the back post at the end, but that’s been our luck recently.”
The 20-year-old also criticised the visitors for what he described as “play acting.”
He went on: “I can’t understand how grown men could go down so easily. You go in for a tackle and they go down and roll around the ground. They’re getting boys booked and it’s just not good enogh. But you have to get on with it.
“I’m frustrated myself because I picked up another booking which I didn’t believe was fair. We’re involved in a man’s game and the ball was there to be won. I went in with the intentions of winning it and their player goes down easily and gets me booked. That’s what he tried to do and he succeeded,” claimed McLaughlin.
“The last thing I want is to be missing games. I don’t want to miss another game until the end of the season. I paid the penalty for it when I missed the game at home to Sligo Rovers which was live no television and I don’t want that to happen again.
“The goal which won the match was a great strike from Ronan (Finn). It came off the underside of the bar and you just can’t stop those. Maybe the build-up play before that we could have been stopped by us.
“To lose again at home is an absolute blow to us but we can’t do much about it now. We’ve just got to look forward to the next game.”