The controversial sending off of Ballinamallard goalkeeper Alvin Rouse after just 16 minutes turned this tight game on its head.
Ferney Park manager Whitey Anderson was fuming with the decision.
“Alvin came out and cleary got his fingertips to the ball diverting it away before his momentum carried him into Cliftonville’s Joe Gormley. The referee sends him off because he says he denied the Cliftonville player a goal scoring opportunity. It is a ludicrous decision.
“What does he want him to do - make the save, stand up and not collide with Gormley. The keeper had to make the save and did and the momentum carried both player into each other
“Then after receiving treatment Gormley was allowed to remain on the pitch ‘in the interest of sport’” said Anderson.
The Ballinamallard manager pointed out that earlier winger Chris Curran got away without a booking after a reckless tackle in the opening five minutes.
“He didn’t book him, saying he gave him the benefit of the doubt. But he didn’t give Alvin Rouse the benefit of the doubt and sent him off.
“These referees are well paid, but they don’t seem to care about the supporters, the players, the management or the clubs who work so tirelessly to raise funds.
“That game was dead after 10 minutes. They really have to take a look at this. People pay good money to watch these fixtures and if he was in any doubt then he should not have made it a ten v 11 game,” said Anderson.