Drogheda United assistant manager Kevin Doherty has described their exit from the FAI Cup as ‘scandalous’ with the Boynesiders playing with nine men for 40 minutes after the controversial dismissal of defender James Brown.
rogheda boss Tim Clancy was also sent off for his protests after referee Paul McLaughlin judged that Brown had dived in the penalty area with eight minutes remaining. His side were 1-0 up against Derry City at the time and Brown received a second yellow card as punishment with replays suggesting it was a seriously questionable decision.
The hosts were already down a man after Dane Massey was red carded for a handball on the line. Derry striker Junior missed that penalty, but the Candystripes were awarded another spot kick in injury time as the nine men of Drogheda valiantly tried to hold out.
Daniel Lafferty converted that, but the Candystripes were unable to make the most of their significant numerical advantage in extra-time as Drogheda defended bravely. However, they suffered the heartbreak of losing 4-2 on penalties and Doherty hit out at the match officials in the aftermath, with the refusal to grant a request for a water break adding to his frustration. Drogheda chairman Conor Hoey made similar comments on social media.
“I’m trying to keep calm here because we do not deserve that,” said Doherty, who was furious in a post-match chat with radio station LMFM.
“We’re down to ten men, we are unbelievable, we go to nine men and we’re unbelievable and they get another penalty, their second penalty of the game.
“To send Jimmy Brown off and change the game like that..we’re going through to the next round of the cup and for that to happen is just absolutely shocking. I’ve got around 100 messages saying not only is that not a dive, it’s a penalty. We might have missed it, who knows but we probably go 2-0 up.
“It’s the best bunch of lads I’ve ever worked with. We go 40 minutes with nine men against a full time team in this heat when we weren’t allowed a water break either. There’s lads on the pitch absolutely out of breath, it’s roasting hot and they’re not allowed a water break. It’s absolutely scandalous.
“I never lose the head like this but this is absolutely scandalous what’s happened. I don’t like pointing fingers but we all know where the finger is pointed and it’s shocking.”