Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton has highlighted the potential high cost to managers and players of decisions by the match officials following a day of frustration on all fronts at Windsor Park.
For the second time this season, Hamilton’s Lurgan Blues left the home of defending Danske Bank Premiership champions Linfield nursing a seven-goal deficit.
However, Hamilton offered support to his players overall in the aftermath of the heavy loss to Linfield - but took issue with a number of decisions by the match officials he felt had a major influence on events.
Linfield’s second goal arrived off a penalty kick by Kirk Millar awarded for Matthew Snoddy’s foul on Stephen Fallon which television footage confirmed was outside the box.
The move was started by a corner-kick taken despite two balls on the pitch in active play and the presence of a Linfield ballboy the wrong side of the line.
Hamilton also pointed to Matthew Clarke’s goal for 5-0 in which Cooper appeared to go over the line before cutting the ball back into the danger area.
On an afternoon in which Robert Garrett picked up a straight red card for dissent on 21 minutes at 3-0, Hamilton had complaints over the referee’s reaction to a number of the challenges.
“Linfield could have won anyway with 11 v 11 but it also might have been different and I’m sure not 8-1 as that does not paint a true reflection of what went on,” said Hamilton. “It looks bad on us, beat again - I could lose my job over it, you never know in football.
“That’s what is at stake - managers could lose jobs, players could lose contracts.
“If you watch the highlights, Matthew does not even enter the box at any stage.
“For the penalty incident, to start off there were two balls on the pitch and a ballboy, Matthew’s saying he went then stopped when he saw that and went again so was not in a natural play.
“The referee says he played on because it wasn’t interfering with play, which I don’t understand.
“It’s never inside the box and we end up 2-0.
“The third I cannot have any complaints - Joel Cooper was excellent all day for Linfield and he’s cut in and scored a good goal, the fourth was poor from our viewpoint.
“For Matthew Clarke’s goal, we were told by Andrew Doyle on the pitch that Joel Cooper said the ball was out and, again, you see that in the highlights.
“We get a goal back but Matthew Snoddy gets booked during the penalty, but for our penalty the player is straight through on goal and there’s no booking for Linfield.
“Calum Birney wins the ball but I believe it was a booking but then Kirk Millar makes a tackle in the middle of the pitch after the Linfield penalty situation and Robert Garrett reacts out of frustration.
“It is bad discipline but when on the pitch sometimes you do react, I was reacting even though I try not to now.”