More ref justice for Glenavon and manager Gary Hamilton

Ryan Catney keeps the ball from Eddie McCallion

Ryan Catney keeps the ball from Eddie McCallion

Gary Hamilton believes sides like Glenavon have to work harder for big refereeing decisions.

After watching his Lurgan Blues lose narrowly against Cliftonville, Hamilton revealed that veteran defender Eddie McCallion would be subjected to a fine of two weeks’ wages when his protests over the Reds’ second goal earned his dismissal from referee Ross Dunlop.

Though video replays have since vindicated the linesman’s call that Martin Murray hadn’t walked the ball out of play in the build-up to Joe Gormley finding the net, Hamilton had more gripes to contend with.

“People say that refereeing decisions even themselves out over the course of the season but they don’t – we don’t seem to be getting anything,” he said.

“All of the controversial calls in our matches are going against us. After the red card, we started to get a few more decisions in our favour but nothing we were ever going to threaten from. Free-kicks and throw-ins down near our own corner flag aren’t of any use.

“It was the same against Linfield the other week – at 1-0 up, we have a stonewall penalty turned down, then they’ve scored from an offside position – and all of these things are adding up without us getting anything back in our favour.

“I felt we should have had a penalty in the second-half but I’m honest enough to admit I think Cliftonville should have had one earlier too.”

The champions had seen a plethora of chances snuffed out by the impressive Andy Coleman before taking a deserved lead when Liam Boyce tapped home after Gormley’s 27th minute shot had been saved.

Glenavon threatened through a brace of Gareth McKeown strikes and Mark Patton hit the underside of the bar before Ciaran Martyn’s claims for a penalty were waved away following a coming together with Marc Smyth.

Shortly afterwards, the ball was in the net at the other end when Murray just about kept possession in play before delivering a cross which both Kyle Neill and Martyn made a mess of clearing, allowing Martin Donnelly to tee Gormley up.

McCallion – who had stopped in his tracks ahead of Murray’s delivery – was sent off for his complaints but, despite their numerical disadvantage, Glenavon finished the contest strongly and handed their hosts a nervy final few minutes after reducing the arrears through Martyn.

“I felt that, overall, we were deserving winners but it should have been more comfortable than it was,” said Tommy Breslin afterwards.

“At 2-0 and with them down to 10 men, you’d hope we would kill the game off but we weren’t able to do that and, when Glenavon pull one back, we’re hanging on a bit towards the end.

“We played very well in the first-half and should probably have scored a couple before we eventually did open the scoring and, after weathering a wee bit of a storm at the start of the second-half, we got the second goal that I had hoped would settle us down – especially with the sending off coming at the same time – but, credit to Glenavon, they really made us work hard and have made a big fight of it in the end.”




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