Oran Kearney couldn’t believe it after his side fell victim to a controversial late penalty against Ballinamallard United on Saturday.
Referee Raymond Hetherington pointed to the spot in the 95th minute at Ferney Park after he adjudged Cathal Beacom’s powerful shot struck Stephen Douglas on the hand.
Kearney and the Bannsiders were left stunned by the controversial decision.
Players surrounded the referee, but he was having none of it.
Up stepped Jason McCartney and he coolly slotted home to seal the win for Whitey Anderson’s side and keep the Bannsiders dismal winless run over the Mallards going.
Speaking afterwards Kearney told Times Sport he couldn’t believe Raymond Hetherington had awarded the spot kick.
“He made a couple of decision late on, but I can’t fathom the penalty, and probably most people in the ground are the same,” he said.
“His perception of what happened and the distance involved in that there was no deflection on the ball . He is adamant it has hit Steven on the hand, but Steven knows where it has hit him and it’s not the hand.
“Even the empty thud of hitting in the midrif or that area gave an indication to me.”
The Coleraine boss was also disappointed with the sending off of defender David Ogilby with 15 minutes to go. Kearney had no problem with the second yellow card that ultimately led to the dismissal, but he believes that Ogilby should not have picked up a first booking.
“I felt the first one was harsh,” he said.
“I don’t have any complaints about the second, but after picking up a soft one early on you are always walking a tight rope.”
The home side had taken the lead against the run of play on 27 minutes when a Currie corner found Steve Feeney, who outjumped the Coleraine defence to head down and into the net.
Coleraine levelled on 37 minutes after a long throw wasn’t dealt with by the home defence and when the ball fell to Matthew Snoddy his snap shot sneaked in at the near post past keeper Murphy.
Coleraine defender Ogilby was red carded on 75 minutes after a tackle on Stuart Hutchinson saw him pick up a second yellow.
Mallards boss Whitey Anderson had sympathy with Kearney over the late penalty but he was delighted with a win that edges them further away from the drop zone.
“Cathal hits the ball like a rocket but it looked harsh. We hoped he might give it and we’ll take it. We got three points and that’s the most important thing,” he said.
“If it had ended up a draw, you would probably have said that was fair but we’ll take the three points.
“The atmosphere in the changing room says it all, the boys are over the moon.”
Coleraine play host to Glentoran this Saturday and will obviously be without the services of David Ogilby, who will have an automatic one-game suspension.
“Games between ourselves and Glentoran have been pretty tight over the last couple of seasons and I’m sure Saturday will be no different,” said Kearney.
“Hopefully it won’t be too long before we have the likes of Ruairi Harkin and Darren McCauley available on a regular basis again.”
Meanwhile, the John Watt Testimonial Committee have released details of a forthcoming Golf Day .
The tournament will take place on Sunday 22nd March at the Town Course, Portstewart Golf Club from 9am to 2.30pm. The day will be a 4-ball tournament with entry set at £25 per person with the winner receiving the John Watt Testimonial Trophy, a number of other spot prizes will be up for grabs on the day kindly donated by Portstewart Golf Club.
To book a tee off time please contact Rodger Doherty via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07772191936. Anyone interested in sponsoring a hole at £50 should also contact Rodger.