Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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You must be joking: Cliftonville boss Barry Gray tweets handball frustrations after Linfield defeat

By Conor McLaughlin

Barry Gray yesterday vented his frustration on social media over two potentially pivotal handball claims in Saturday's defeat to Linfield.

The Cliftonville boss was furious that referee Andrew Davey waved away penalty appeals after Ruairi Harkin's fierce strike was blocked by the hand of Blues' defender Mark Stafford and was just as miffed later in the game when, in the build up to Linfield's second goal, visiting skipper Jamie Mulgrew appeared to reach out and grab the ball while he was on the ground.

Bangor official Davey - who has been at the centre of a string of controversial decisions in Reds matches throughout this season - allowed play to continue on both occasions, however Gray took serious umbrage over any suggestion that Stafford's arm was in a natural position when he threw himself in the way of Harkin's 60th minute effort.

Using screenshots from the Reds' own video analysis team - which provide a reverse angle to the BBC's footage - Gray posted a still of the Stafford incident and tweeted: "So this isn't a hand ball? Hands in a natural position, you must be joking!"

In a separate post regarding the later incident, Gray asserted: "Mulgrew lies on ball in lead up to second goal, but this is no hand ball either."

Belfast Telegraph

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