Kearney cries foul as the Bannsiders pay the penalty

Paul Heatley goes down under Johnny Watt's challenge, but is well outside the box. Presseye /Stephen Hamilton
Paul Heatley goes down under Johnny Watt's challenge, but is well outside the box. Presseye /Stephen Hamilton

Coleraine were left fuming after two controversial penalty decisions sent them crashing to defeat against Crusaders on Saturday.

Referee Raymond Crangle and his officials awarded the league champions spot kicks in either half which left the Bannsiders feeling more than a little aggrieved.

Ref Raymond Crangle

Ref Raymond Crangle

The first one five minutes before the break, which also saw Johnny Watt pick up a second yellow card following a tussle with Paul Heatley, occurred at least a yard outside the box.

The second 17 minutes from time had everyone in the ground scratching their head again.

A long ball into the box by the penalty scorer Billy Joe Burns was taken well by debutant keeper Chris Johns.

The whistle went, with everyone feeling it was for a foul on the young stopper, but no the official pointed to the spot again citing a pull by David Ogilby on Jordan Owens.

Burns again dispatched from 12 yards to seal the win and leave Kearney a very frustrated man at the end.

“When the league champions come to town you need a certain amount of not necessarily luck, but I suppose the consistency for things to be done to allow you to give yourself a chance in the game,” said the Bannsiders boss.

“I thought our first half performance was well on the way to getting us in at 0-0 at half time and giving ourselves a chance to going and getting something from the game.

“My gut feeling at the time when the first incident happened in real time was it looked outside.

“I’ve since watched the video back and saw photos of the incident and it’s not even close to being inside the box.

“The linesman is adamant to me at half time that he’s in line with it and he’s made the call because he’s 100% sure.

“But if you’re 100% sure you have to be sure you’re seen the foul happen inside the box.

“Yes everyone ends up inside the box, but the initial foul is probably about two yards outside the box.

“It’s like a double whammy for us because we get a red card from it and we also get a penalty given against us.

“All of a sudden in the space of five seconds, for all the good work we’ve put into the first half, the game has been turned on its head.

“For the second one the ref has made the insinuation that he has given it for holding.

“I’m sure there are people holding on to each other, it’s a physical game, but if that’s a penalty there’s 10 penalties in every game.

“Anyone who plays against Jordan Owens knows he’s a handful, he’s a physical player and you could questions there’s lots of fouls he commits, he gives as good as he gets and I suppose defenders have to do the same.

“I thought when the whistle went it was for a foul on our keeper, I think everybody did.

“I think we have been unjustly done by with both penalties.

“But credit to our lads, when you play the league champions, and with the way things have gone for us today, it would have been easy to capitulate and lie down and get beat four or five.

“It’s a measure of how far these players have come that maybe a year ago that probably would have been the case.

“It shows the direction we’re going that we had the mindset to keep going.”