Glens pay the penalty
Gaffer hits out at refs’ reluctance to call foul
Rutherglen Glencairn gaffer Willie Harvey has warned referees must take a stricter view of foul play in making penalty decisions in order to cut diving out of the game.
The Celsius Stadium boss was fuming with the official who denied his team a stonewall spot-kick in the second half of their 1-1 draw with Kilsyth Rangers.
Glens midfielder Sean McGuire burst into the penalty area in the 55th minute of the match and was about to shoot when his jersey was strongly pulled from behind.
The tug clearly denied him the chance to shoot and he was put off balance, but the ref wasn’t interested.
His decision angered Harvey, who said afterwards: “McGuire goes into the box and is having his jumper pulled back. It’s the same old story – because he’s not gone down it’s not a penalty.
“Every player has to go down nowadays for the referee to give a penalty. How are they going to stop people diving if they always have to hit the ground when they feel contact?
“McGuire has not managed to get a proper shot away.”
Following their penalty appeal, The Glens were hit with a sickener when they switched off at a free- kick and conceded in the 67th minute.
They rallied thereafter and managed to grab an equaliser after missing a penalty – awarded by a ref left in no doubt this time – but scored from a corner-kick.
“In the second half we totally dominated but we lost a stupid goal,” Harvey said. “The free-kick was given, and I had no problem with it being awarded, but my players switched off and the ball came in, hit the bar, and they didn’t react.
“There was a bit of complaining from us but I said to them that wasn’t right. They should have been prepared for when the kick was taken and not waited on the referee blowing his whistle.
“We’ve taken quick free kicks before without the referee’s whistle and profited from it. They just went to sleep so I was very disappointed in that.”
He continued: “They responded brilliantly and got back into the game soon after that. We missed the penalty and scored from the resultant cornerkick. McGregor has done well – he’s out-jumped everyone in the air.”
Harvey is adamant The Glens must cut out the mistakes and start burying their strikes if they are to evade the dreaded relegation zone come May.
The Glens have drawn half of their league games this season and are wary of falling down the league table due to lack of converted chances.
“It was definitely two points dropped on Saturday,” the gaffer said. “It was the same old story with us, mistakes at the back and missed chances.
“I couldn’t fault their attitude and their workrate but it was the amount of chances we created and didn’t take. It just shows how good a team we are that we are creating them.
“We really are in a false position. Shettleston haven’t beaten us, Irvine haven’t beaten us and we’ve played Kilsyth twice now, who are top of the league and they haven’t beaten us. But it’s these draws that are killing us.
“We need to start picking up points now. Better teams than us have been relegated before.”
Irvine Meadow return to the Celsius Stadium this Saturday afternoon hoping to come away with a similar feeling to the one they had in October.
The Medda knocked Harvey’s men out on penalties in the first round of the West of Scotland Cup after both teams drew earlier in the season on league duty.
Commenting on the game, Harvey said: “It’s another big tie but these are the games I look forward to because I know my players will turn up. Our big problems are the teams lower down in the league.
“We drew with Irvine and they knocked us out of the West of Scotland Cup but on both occasions they have been close games.
“We’ll be confident going into it. We are capable of beating anybody.”
Gaffer’s word Glencairn manager Willie Harvey
Equaliser Glencairn celebrate their goal at the Celsius Stadium