Referee Mervyn Smyth on receiving end as clubs hit out at performance

Glenavon's Kris Lindsay jumps with Dungannon's Andrew Mitchell
Glenavon's Kris Lindsay jumps with Dungannon's Andrew Mitchell

Glenavon secured an impressive victory over bogey team Dungannon Swifts, but it was the performance of referee Mervyn Smyth that angered both teams.

Swifts boss Darren Murphy was furious after the whistleblower sent off two of his players in the closing stages of Saturday’s encounter, and made a number of decisions slated as “absolutely crazy” by Glenavon’s Paul Millar.

Murphy said he felt the referee had got things wrong after he disallowed an early goal by Glenavon’s Eoin Bradley on 17 minutes.

The Swifts boss raged: “He didn’t award Glenavon a goal in the first few minutes of the game – it’s a goal. Simple.

“Do you know how it’s a goal? Because their boy cuts the ball back and the other boy heads it in. So from four years of age you understand that if you cut the ball back you can’t be offside. It’s a goal. Simple.”

Dungannon took the lead on 17 minutes from Ryan Harpur, but the hosts were level just five minutes later when Kevin Braniff cooly slotted away a penalty after Bradley had been brought down by David McCullough.

Glenavon sealed the win with goals from Kris Lindsayand James Singleton.

Dougie Wilson and Jamie Glackin were also sent off, reducing the visitors to nine men.

Glenavon assistant manager Millar said: “We’re happy enough with the performance, but a few of the decisions were crazy.

“This is awful - we should be going ‘we won 3-1, this is great’, but it could have been 0-0 or it could have gone to the other team.

“I thought the first goal that was ruled out for an offside decision against Eoin Bradley was absolutely crazy.

“I think when Bradley is stronger than the defender, down the edge of the box (and is brought down), if it’s a foul he should blow right away, and if it’s not, then he shouldn’t. He shouldn’t wait until the ball goes into the back of the net. If it’s a push, it’s a push.”