Belfast Telegraph

Officials too tough on Murray, insists Tipton

By Graham Luney

Warrenpoint Town boss Matthew Tipton believes Darren Murray is not treated the same way as other forwards by Irish League referees and has called on officials to cut the controversial striker some slack.

Murray has had a super season in front of goal when he has not been suspended. The former Portadown and Cliftonville ace is Town's top scorer having netted five times in the Danske Bank Premiership, but he has already been sent off twice and recently returned from a four-match suspension.

In his comeback match in the league last week, true to form he scored as Warrenpoint claimed three vital points in a 2-1 basement battle victory at home to Ballinamallard.

Tipton knows he needs the prolific Murray in his team and wants refs to see him as just another player.

"It's massively important to have Darren back playing for us," said Tipton. "I said when I signed him that he is one of the best strikers in the league and I still believe that. There is nobody else I'd want the ball to drop to in the penalty area in my squad or any other squad.

"He's had a tough couple of months though. I thought he was harshly dealt with in relation to the red cards.

"People outside of our club maybe don't see it but he is actually a good lad. He works hard in training and yes, he's passionate, but I have no problem with that.

"Sometimes we have to calm him down as the match is going on but he wants to win games, wants to win every challenge and he wants to win every refereeing decision. I'm not going to stop that.

"I think referees need to be a bit more lenient with him. He gets kicked from pillar to post over 90 minutes and as soon as he makes a foul he gets booked straight away.

"They are just happy to book him because he is Darren Murray. I don't see any of the other centre forwards we are playing against getting booked for doing exactly the same as what Darren does.

"But because it is Darren Murray everyone wants to keep bringing him down but we'll keep bringing him up."

Warrenpoint travel to face Ards tonight with both teams on seven points, six ahead of bottom side Ballinamallard.

Tipton said: "We will try and stamp our style of play on them and aim to get a victory. It's another really important game for us."

Ards vs Warrenpoint T

Danske Bank Premiership:

Bangor Fuels Arena, Tonight, 7.45pm

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