DERRY CITY: The ref bottled it - claims Peter Hutton

FURIOUS . . . City manager Peter Hutton on the final whistle against St Patrick's Athletic at the Brandywell.
FURIOUS . . . City manager Peter Hutton on the final whistle against St Patrick's Athletic at the Brandywell.
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  • Peter Hutton was furious his side didn’t get a penalty kick against St Pat’s in the opening 60 seconds
  • Hutton believes Jason McGuinness should have been sent off for challenge on Patrick McEleney
  • The Derry boss feels luck is deserting his side at present

DERRY CITY boss, Peter Hutton accused match referee, Derek Tomney of ‘bottling’ the decision to award his side a blatant penalty kick in the opening 60 seconds of Friday night’s heavy defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic at Brandywell.

Patrick McEleney led the appeals from the home team when he was brought down by Saints’ defender, Jason McGuinness who was attempting to play the ball back to goalkeeper Brendan Clarke.

Hutton felt that incident warranted a penalty and a sending off - with McGuinness being the last man - but he believes Dublin official, Mr Tomney turned a blind eye to the offence simply because it was so early in the match.

“I thought we should have certainly had a penalty,” claimed Hutton. “Patrick McEleney spoke to Jason McGuinness afterwards and he told him that he caught him on his calf. So it should have been a penalty and a sending off and that would have changed the game entirely.

“If it hadn’t been so early in the game I’ve no doubt it would have been given and that’s what I said to the referee. He bottled it because it was in the first minute. It happens. They (officials) are afraid to make a decision so early in the game. If it had of happened later in the game it certainly would have been a stone wall penalty!”

Overall the Derry manager was furious with the standard of officiating during the game as he felt a string of decisions went against his side.

If it hadn’t been so early in the game I’ve no doubt it would have been given and that’s what I said to the referee. He bottled it because it was in the first minute. It happens.

Peter Hutton

“I thought it was poor officiating on the night overall,” continued Hutton. “He gave Patrick (McEleney) a yellow card for the type of tackle Ger O’Brien got away with twice previously and Greg Bolger just took young Josh Daniels out deliberately on one occasion - a deliberate obstruction and again no card. All we look for is consistency and at the minute we’re not getting it.”

Derry, who were searching for a first league win in six attempts started on the front foot with Daniels and McEleney offering the biggest threat to the St Pat’s defence.

“When your down, everything seems to come down on top of you,” said Hutton after the game. And his side certainly had no luck with the opening goal which came against the run of play.

An attempted clearance ricocheted kindly into the path of Aaron Greene who had to time to pick out the far corner of Gerard Doherty’s net from 20 yards to give the Saints the lead on 26 minutes.

And when James Chambers’ low free-kick crept into the net through a crowded penalty area 10 minutes into the second half there appeared no way back for the home side.

Minus five first team regulars through suspension and injury it was a tall order for Derry to stage a comeback but when Chris Forrester glided his way through the City defence before coolly finding the net from close range, the 0-3 scoreline somewhat flattered the men from Inchicore.

“The first goal took a deflection off Shane and fell to Greene who finished it well, to be fair to him. And then the second goal we got caught in our right back area and we just didn’t deal with it,” lamented Hutton.

“We gave away an unnecessary free-kick and we got punished when the guy put it into the bottom corner. The ball seemed to take an eternity to go in and Gerard was unsighted.

“It was always going to be hard for us after that.

“We rallied and at the start of the second half we got at them and put them under pressure. We created one or two chances but didn’t take them unfortunately.

“I didn’t think it was an overly bad performance for large spells but we just didn’t get the breaks or work their keeper enough.”

And Hutton heaped praise on the visiting team who went for the kill once they got their first taste of blood.

They’re a quality side and you can see they’ve been together a long time. They have a great understanding of each other and great awareness of each other’s positioning. That takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. They have a lot of quality players and they showed that by exploiting us for the third goal as well.”

The defeat was Derry’s heaviest loss at Brandywell this season but more worrying is the fact the Candy Stripes have gone six league matches without victory - their last league win dating back to April 28th and a 2-0 away win over Limerick.