Referee takes centre stage at Brandywell as Derry City draw with Sligo Rovers

Seanan Clucas was on target for Derry
Seanan Clucas was on target for Derry

The performance of a guest Irish League referee fashioned considerable controversy at the Brandywell on Friday night.

Derry City fought out a 1-1 draw with Sligo Rovers, but it was Arnold Hunter who emerged as the centre of attention.

The Fermanagh based official not only produced a disputed straight red to Derry winger Mark Timlin, but he also awarded Sligo a highly controversial penalty which Alan Keane smashed off the crossbar in the second half.

Five minutes after the break the visitors broke the deadlock following a defensive howler from Derry.

Centre-back Shane McEleney appeared to leave the ball for keeper Patton to collect before the alert Sander Puri nipped in to grab the loose ball and stroke it into the unguarded net.

That lead, however, lasted just 60 seconds, the home side levelling matters when Seanan Clucas produced a superb chip to find the far corner of the Sligo net, his first strike for Derry.

And in the 65th minute the home side really should have moved into the driving seat when Shaun Kelly’s low cross broke to Barry McNamee, his low shot deflected wide.

Derry City - Patton; Kelly, S. McEleney, Barry, Jarvis; Clucas, Sharkey (P. McEleney, h/t); Timlin, Lowry, McNamee; Morrison (Curran, 75).

Sligo Rovers - Brush; Keane, Peers, Folan, Ledwith; Beattie, McManus, Wearen, Devaney (Nielsen, 69); Puri; Corcoran.

Referee - A. Hunter (Fermanagh)