Belfast Telegraph

Crusaders paid the penalty for wrong decision: Colin Coates

Crusaders defender Colin Coates felt referee Mervyn Smyth's decision to award Institute their first penalty on Saturday, was the decision which changed the game.

The ex-Northern Ireland international felt he won the ball and, in fact, Stute's Declan McKeever kicked him, so the spot-kick should never have been awarded.

"The first penalty decision, it was me who made the challenge, I won the ball cleanly and for some reason he gave the penalty and that changed the whole complexion of the game, as it gave Institute something to hang onto," said Coates.

"To be fair, I got a toe on the ball and my studs weren't up or anything like that and then their player, who I think was going to have a shot, kicked my foot, so I find it difficult how he has come to that decision, but he has and it's him who has to live by that decision.

"I think when you look back at it, Mervyn has got that one wrong but sometimes those things go against you and it went against us on Saturday."

Coates, who only recently signed a new four-year deal with the Crues, admitted they were probably fortunate to get a point after Aaron Walsh (pictured) - who opened the scoring with that penalty before putting the ball in his own net after the interval - missed a second spot-kick in the final minute.

"Obviously you know they would expect to score that and win the game, but I think when you look right back across the game a draw was a fair result," he added.

"They defended really well and, while we got a goal in the second half, we didn't really push on from there.

"We had plenty of pressure up until that point and then we scored and sort of took our foot off the gas again and let them back into it, but I think the first penalty set the tone for the game. However it's just one of those things and we'll take it on the chin and look to next week's game at home to Portadown.

"As we are at home we'll be hoping to pick up a result in that one and we need to really win now.

"It's a huge game for us and, to be fair, we have a few big ones coming up now.

"We are doing well at home, our record is pretty good and we enjoy playing there, so we'll be looking to pick up the three points, but it will be tough as they are a good side."

Stute boss Paul Kee wasn't too downhearted by the result.

"It would have been a point gained before the match, but it's obviously two points lost now," he admitted. "When someone gives you an opportunity to score a penalty in the last minute of the game you would have taken that all day long and I thought the gods were shining down on us today, but unfortunately we missed the penalty, which is disappointing.

"We showed good determination and excellent defending and then we had a couple of chances and missed a penalty at the end, which is a bit of a blow, but we'll move on."

Belfast Telegraph


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