Saturday 18 November 2017

Russell rages over refereeing 'inconsistency'

Limerick FC 1 Finn Harps 1

Martin Russell has left Limerick
Martin Russell has left Limerick

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Limerick FC manager Martin Russell lamented the "inconsistency" of League of Ireland referees and also seemed to voice discontent over Finn Harps' tactics following this tempestuous draw at Markets Field.

Limerick fans shouted loudly for a late penalty when Robbie Williams appeared to be held in the box after his header crashed off a post on an afternoon when referee John McLoughlin did not endear himself to the Shannonside faithful, who felt on numerous occasions that Finn Harps players were too eager to go to ground.

Russell said afterwards: "In general, I think there's an inconsistency (with referees) in this country. You just don't know what you're going to get from one game to the next. That would be my concern.

"It seems to be that if teams want to stall games, do stupid things or commit fouls, they seem to get a quite lenient approach and that would be another fear for the game here going forward."

Harps deservedly led at half-time through a Sean Houston goal on 23 minutes which stemmed from a poor clearance from Limerick goalkeeper Freddy Hall.

The home side dominated the second half and rescued a point when, on 72 minutes, Rodrigo Tosi headed a pinpoint Ian Turner cross to the net from close range.

Harps manager Ollie Horgan seemed content with the result, although he feels that his team will be involved in a prolonged battle to avoid relegation.

"I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't get the second (goal) when we were on top, but overall we'll gladly take a point," he said.

"It's five points after five games and I don't think 33 points out of 33 games will keep you up. We know exactly what battle we're in, but there's 28 games to go and who knows what will happen?"

Limerick FC - Hall; Kelly, Whitehead, Williams, Robson; Hery (O'Conor 70), Duggan; Kenny (Turner 70), Mulhall (Lynch 60), D Clarke; Tosi.

Finn harps - Gallagher; McNulty, Cantwell, Coll, Harkin; McAleer, Boyle, McCourt (Molloy 62), Morrissey; Houston (Mailey 90+5), O'Connor (Dsane 78).

Ref - J McLoughlin (Roscommon).

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