Irvine blasts refereeing display, despite Bo'ness progressing in the cup

A speechless Willie Irvine admitted he didn’t even care that his Bo’ness Athletic side had won their South Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Renfrew, due to officials treating the match like a ‘Champions League final’ in what he described as the worst refereeing performance he’d seen throughout his entire footballing career.

The 4-3 victory sees the Bo’ness side now face Lowland League outfit East Kilbride in the next round in March.

Speaking to the Herald, Irvine said: “It was unbelievable to be honest.

“I am coming away from the game not even happy that we won.

“We went 4-1 up and were cruising then the referee went card crazy.

“In all my years in football, I’ve not witnessed anything like it.

“Two of our players were sent off for nothing and they had two penalties for nothing as well.

“It was farcical and I honestly can’t even feel happy about the result, it was that bad.”

Athletic’s lethal strikeforce were on top form once again, with Tiwi Daramola grabbing two goals, Grant Rose scoring the opener and the returning Scott Sinclair getting in on the act too.

The 40-goal Sinclair has been out for around six weeks with a niggling injury and Irvine was pleased to have him back.

“Looking past the bad stuff surrounding the game, having Scotty back is big for us,” said the manager.

“Not only has he scored 40 goals which is so impressive, he gives the other guys on the pitch confidence.

“We can be playing badly and they don’t have to worry because they know a goal can still come.

“Other teams mark him, rightly so, and it allows our other players to find more space.”

Athletic are back in East of Scotland first division conference X action on Saturday against Livingston United, with Irvine’s side sitting in third four points behind top spot.

He said: “We’ve still got a number of games in hand so we just need to keep on winning.

“Doing well in the cups is actually causing us some problems because we are already behind.

"The title race will go right down to the wire I think, it could even go down to the final matchday so nothing is set in stone yet.”