Fuming Tim Mouncey slammed referee Mark Courtney for not awarding Portadown a last minute penalty in the JJB Sports Irish Cup final on Saturday.
The Ports midfielder was furious that Courtney took no notice of a challenge from Noel Bailie, which sent him sprawling in the box as the Shamrock Park men searched for an injury time equaliser.
Instead the match official awarded a goal-kick after the Blues forced the ball out off Mouncey as he lay on the grass and Courtney then blew the final whistle as Linfield goalkeeper Alan Blayney cleared upfield.
“It was a penalty. Definitely,” said Mouncey. “I touched the ball and rolled it out of my feet and the next thing I knew I’d the legs taken from me.
“Even a couple of the Linfield lads said to me that they were relieved the referee didn’t give it. I’m very disappointed that the referee hasn’t awarded a penalty.
“I think overall the referee had a good game, but you want a referee who is going to get the big decisions right and make the tough calls, even in the last minute of a match and I feel he didn’t”
Mouncey’s dreams of a third Irish Cup winners medal — having played in Linfield’s 2006 victory and been on the bench a year later — were effectively dashed within the opening 10 minutes of the game as the Blues struck twice before the game had even settled.
Portadown did produce an amazing response and not only did they pull one back from a perfectly struck Kevin Braniff free-kick — with at least the linesman in no doubt that the ball had crossed the line as his flag was raised straightaway — but they could well have been in front by half-time.
Johnny Topley struck a post, Braniff forced a point-blank save out of Blayney and the Linfield goalkeeper also managed to push a Wesley Boyle effort away as it sailed towards the top corner.
“It’s my first defeat in an Irish Cup final and it’s a bad feeling,” said Mouncey. “Linfield had that wee bit of luck that you need to win the cup and we didn’t.”