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Stuart King calls for referee ‘accountability’ after apologising over sending off during Carrick’s contentious defeat to Linfield


Carrick boss Stuart King. Credit: INPHO/Declan Roughan

Carrick boss Stuart King. Credit: INPHO/Declan Roughan

©INPHO/Declan Roughan

Carrick boss Stuart King. Credit: INPHO/Declan Roughan

Carrick Rangers manager Stuart King has revealed he apologised to referee Ross Dunlop after being sent off in Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat against Linfield pointing out that he would welcome the same courtesy shown to his side from the officials once they review the controversial penalty decision that transformed the league game at Windsor Park.

Approaching the final 10 minutes it looked as though the Blues were going to have to settle for a draw with Carrick’s excellent shape, organisation, discipline and tactics keeping them at bay. Then Dunlop, in consultation with his assistant, awarded a spot-kick to the champions when it was adjudged that Kyle Cherry had handled Ahmed Salam’s cross in the box.

The visiting players were stunned and King and his coaching staff were fuming. Words were exchanged with Dunlop, leading to a red card for King and to make matters worse for Carrick, Chris Shields slotted in the penalty. With Rangers pressing for an equaliser, Kirk Millar netted the insurance goal for Linfield in the 90th minute.

“We were 80 minutes in against the biggest team in the country and our players had knocked their pan in and then the linesman made, in my opinion, a poor decision that cost us a point,” said King, who has done an impressive job since taking over at Carrick in the summer.

“It wasn’t a penalty. I have watched the incident on TV and the ball hit Kyle’s chest and then hit his arm. I went in to see the referee after the game and was told the linesman made the decision.

“I apologised to the referee Ross Dunlop for what I said to him that led to my sending off but even though we should get one ourselves I don’t expect an apology from the officials for that terrible decision. They will just move on. There doesn’t seem to be much accountability with officials which can be extremely frustrating.

“We were compact and tried to get them to play in front of us and the game plan worked 100 percent until that penalty decision.

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“We lost 4-0 at Windsor to Linfield earlier in the season so we did something different on Tuesday and it was going brilliantly because of the work-rate and organisation of the players and then we got done by the spot-kick. It was a hard one to take.”

Reflecting on a night when King went back to his old club and almost put a dent in their title bid, the Carrick boss, who wore shorts on the sidelines despite the dreadful weather conditions, stated: “I said to my players before the game that there were hundreds of young lads who would love to be in their shoes playing at Windsor Park against the best team in the country and I thought my boys were magnificent.”

King will want his side, in eighth position, to back it up at home to third bottom Dungannon on Saturday.

“If we win, we go 12 points clear of them and if we lose the gap is six points. It’s a cup final for us,” said the former Preston player.

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