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Glentoran boss Eddie Patterson says refs must be made accountable

By Stuart McKinley

Eddie Patterson fears that he and his counterparts throughout the Irish League will never get justice for incorrect refereeing calls.

The Glentoran manager was outraged after two key decisions from referee Mervyn Smyth went against his team during the second-half of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Cliftonville at the Oval.

Patterson first slammed the sending off of midfielder Stephen McAlorum just seven minutes after he had come on as a substitute – although at the time he hadn't seen our picture which captures the incident.

He was then incensed at the decision to award the Reds a penalty 18 minutes from time and, although Elliott Morris saved George McMullan's spot kick, the Glens never really cleared the danger and Ciaran Caldwell – the man Jimmy Callacher was adjudged to have fouled – scored to cancel out Mark Miskimmin's first-half strike.

Patterson, who also took issue with decisions Smyth made in two previous Glentoran games this season, feels that with referees and assessors singing from the same hymn sheet, the frustration will remain unless changes are implemented.

"The media can see that there is a problem with referees because they are asking questions on a regular basis," said Patterson.

"Clubs and managers can do nothing about this, it is up to the referees' association now.

"They have got to look at it. Referees are paid more than most of my players and on Saturday the referee ruined the game.

"I tried to speak to Mervyn Smyth at half-time, but I was waved away. What was the point after the game?

"I spoke to the assessor and he thought the referee got all the big calls right.

"Until video evidence is used and referees are put down a league after glaring mistakes I can't see how anything will change, but this can't go on."

Smyth spoke to the media after the game and, while he defended his decision to dismiss McAlorum, admitted that there may have been areas in his performance that could be improved.

"It was a challenging match but I just gave the decisions as I saw them at the time," said the official – and our picture appears to back him up.

"In my view, Stephen McAlorum endangered the safety of an opponent. His foot caught him high and I reached for the red card straight away because there was never a doubt in my mind.

"I accept I was maybe wrong not to caution Jaimie McGovern early in the game and, like players, I will look back over my performance and see what I could have done differently."

GLENTORAN: Morris, O'Neill, Bradley, Callacher, Hill, M Clarke, Stewart (McGuigan, 83 mins), R Clarke, O'Hanlon (Magee, 66 mins) Kane (McAlorum, 54mins), Miskimmin. Unused subs: Henderson, Hughes.

CLIFTONVILLE: Brown, Cosgrove (Caldwell, 66 mins), McGovern, McNally, Scannell (Murray, 85mins), Curran, McMullan, Catney, Garrett (Donnelly 66, mins), Boyce, Gormley. Unused subs: Johnston, O'Carroll.

Referee: Mervyn Smyth (Belfast).

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