Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon 3-1 Dungannon: Rivals Paul Millar and Darren Murphy frustrated by ref

By Ian Callender

Assistant manager Paul Millar hailed Glenavon as they got back on the winning trail but, for his third successive game at Mourneview Park, referee Mervyn Smyth was the man both management teams were talking about.

Last season, Smyth sent Glenavon player-boss Gary Hamilton from the dug-out in a game against Linfield and was also heard to shout 'yes' after Glentoran had scored against the Lurgan Blues.

Against Dungannon Swifts on Saturday, Smyth disallowed Eoin Bradley's sixth-minute strike and it did not get any better for the beleaguered official.

"We as staff, management and players look at our performance, but we should also be able to look at referees' decisions and say they got it absolutely wrong," said Millar.

"His position was perfect and he might be right.

"But there were frustrations, big decisions that affected both sides.

"There were some crazy decisions

"We won 3-1 and everything should be great, but the goal by Bradley, a 'penalty' after the penalty (we scored) was nailed on, and then the ref waits until ball in the net before blowing up for a foul."

Dungannon boss Darren Murphy - whose side had Douglas Wilson and Jamie Glackin red-carded - had no complaints about the result but he was so frustrated by the refereeing, for a third successive week, that there were rumours after the match he had even quit.

"I don't make knee-jerk reactions," the former Linfield ace said afterwards. "I never have and I wouldn't say anything without speaking to the players or the board."

But Murphy also agreed that Bradley's early header, which came from a cross pulled back from the byline by Andy Hall, should have stood.

Bradley, who gave James Singleton's influential role in midfield a close run for man of the match, had another goal disallowed in the second-half and was also pulled for the penalty which Kevin Braniff converted to cancel out Ryan Harpur's opener.

Kris Lindsay headed the Lurgan Blues ahead on the stroke of half-time and Singleton nodded in Kyle Buckley's free-kick 10 minutes from the final whistle to make sure of the victory.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Marshall, Dillon, Lindsay, Buckley, Hall (McGrory, 58 mins), Kilmartin (Hamilton, 88 mins), Singleton, Cooper (Neill, 81 mins); Bradley, Braniff

DUNGANNON: Coleman, McCullough (Burke, 73 mins), Armstrong, Wilson, McCaffrey, Lowe, Glackin, Harpur, Hazley (Teggart, 64 mins), McElroy, Mitchell (Douglas, 73 mins)

Man of the match: James Singleton

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Belfast)

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