Glenn Ferguson rages against referee Raymond Crangle following dismissals

Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson
Ballymena United manager Glenn Ferguson

Ballymena United boss Glenn Ferguson was left perplexed by the performance of Irish Cup final referee Raymond Crangle.

Crangle sent off three players during the televised showpiece, including Sky Blues duo Gary Thompson and Tony Kane.

Crusaders defender Gareth McKeown was the first to be dismissed, for an off-the-ball incident with Ballymena goalkeeper Aaron Shanahan.

Ferguson believes the dismissals ruined the game as a spectacle.

“We are in a democracy here, and it is freedom of speech, and I think Raymond Crangle ruined the game today,” ‘Spike’ blasted.

“If the powers-that-be want to punish me, they need to go and have a good look at themselves. If this is the state of refereeing, is it any wonder it is being bad-mouthed.

“People should be going away talking about Mark Patton’s goal, or Kyle Neill’s free-kick, or our pressure in the second half.

“But unfortunately everyone is talking about the referee’s performance.

“I am led to believe there wasn’t much in Gareth McKeown’s foul on Aaron Shanahan.

“I then turned to Lee Doherty and said that we needed to be careful because the referee would even things out.

“And then within 10 minutes Gary Thompson is sent off. I didn’t even think it was a yellow card. But to produce a straight red for that is ridiculous.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.

“The third red card I have no complaints with. Tony has held his hands up and apologised. But that was sheer frustration.

“I think the referee made a mess of it.

“In the League Cup final Paul Leeman could have been sent off three times. Craig McClean committed at least 12 fouls and stayed on the pitch.

“Gary Thompson made one foul today and gets sent off. Where is the consistency?”