Jags endure day to forget
Ref adds insult to injury after booking crocked star
East Kilbride Thistle boss Alan Paterson slammed referee Ross Birrell for booking injured player David McKean as he was stretchered off during their defeat to Rossvale.
Saturday’s game, which the Jags lost 4-0, was marred by a horror injury to the midfielder, in which he broke his kneecap in a 50-50 challenge.
With the sides locked at 0-0, proceedings were delayed for almost half an hour as McKean received treatment from the Rossvale physio and paramedics.
However, Paterson took exception to Birrell hanging around the player for that time and then booking him as he was stretchered off the field to an awaiting ambulance.
The Jags boss was furious with the official and accused him of showing a lack of respect to his player.
Paterson said: “It was an absolutely devastating injury, a real sickener to be honest.
“As soon as it happened we knew it was a really bad one.
“It wasn’t a bad tackle or anything, it was just two boys going into a challenge fully committed in the middle of the park and David has come off worse.
“The guys at Rossvale and the paramedics were great with him.
“The only person who didn’t show him any respect was the referee, who stood over him the whole time with the card in his hand waiting to book him for the tackle.
“I said to him I thought it was shocking what he was doing.
“I told him there’s an ambulance waiting to take him away and all you are worrying about is booking him.
“At the time I thought he’d broken his leg and the ref told me to stop being a drama queen.
“Next he said he hadn’t broken anything and I was like: ‘Oh, so you are a doctor now as well?’
“The paramedics had to hook him up to oxygen and I think maybe after that he realised it was a bad one.
“But it literally added insult to injury. Even the Rossvale guys didn’t want him booked.
“We are losing one of our best players for over a year now, so it’s a real blow.”
Goals from Anton McDowall, Liam Crichton, Greg Fernie as well as exEKFC and EKYM striker Gary Giffen helped Rossvale cruise to their eighth win on the bounce in Central District First Division.
McKean’s injury came just 10 minutes into the game and after falling to their fourth league defeat on the spin Paterson added: “I don’t know if it affected the result or not. David is very well-liked in the dressing room and his brother Scott was playing as well, so I’m sure it was on a lot of the boys’ minds.
“But we can have no excuses about the result because Rossvale were too strong for us. They are the most organised and well-balanced I’ve seen and Gary Griffin was really impressive for them.
“But we are giving away really cheap goals, making mistakes all over the park and being punished for it.”
On Saturday, Thistle are due to host Thorniewood – who they beat 7-1 in a Junior Cup replay last month – and Paterson knows they must improve if they are to beat the league’s bottom side.
He said: “Our next three games are all against teams at the bottom of the table, so we need to start picking up points.
“The last few games we’ve lost a bit of confidence and we need to get back to how we were playing at the start of the season.”
Kick-off at the Showpark is 2pm.
Painful David McKean is treated for his injury as referee Birrel looks on