Irvine launches tirade at controversial goal decision that 'could have cost his side the title'

Bo’ness Athletic boss Willie Irvine admitted he was speechless after watching his team lose out on three points against title rivals Syngenta, due to the referee allowing the hosts to kick-off when his players were in the midst of celebrating going 2-1 up with five minutes to go.

By Ben Kearney
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 12:49 am
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 7:05 pm

After veteran hitman Andy Rodgers put Gordon Wylde’s side ahead in the second-half, two strikes from 55-goal man Tiwi Daramola put the away side top of the league, and set to pick up three points at Ochilview.

However, while the Bo’ness players celebrations spilled into their own half, referee Richard Macartney allowed the Dyes to kick-off, and they bombarded up the pitch scoring to level the match with just goalkeeper Fraser Currid to beat.

Hamilton Accies loanee Lennon Pirrie slotted home to set up a chaotic ending with Craig Sneddon sent off for Bo’ness for his protestations.

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Bo'ness Athletic boss Willie Irvine (Pictures: Michael Gillen)

The anger was evident at the full-time whistle with the away sides directors and playing staff livid.

Speaking to the Herald, an incensed Irvine said: “In my 40-odd years in the game I have never witnessed anything like that.

"Imagine if a situation like that had happened at Celtic or Rangers and the referee did that, imagine the fallout. A riot would have occurred, people would have been murdered.

“Half of our players were off the park and he (the referee) has got to identify that both sides were ready to restart the game.

Tiwi Daramola pleads with the refereeing team at full-time

“Imagine if that happened every match, no-one would celebrate near the corner of the pitch because the other team would go up and score.

“It just wouldn’t be done. It was embarrassing.

“If we had won our last two games and won this one we would have been up more than likely.

“For the referee to do that when we have dominated the match and could have been two or three up really was something I’ve never saw before.

Syngenta's Andy Rodgers goes for goal

“Even bringing sportsmanship into it, honestly, if that was me in charge of a side and that happened I would say to my players to let a goal go in.

“In my eyes it was unfair and it was something that you just don’t want to see in football.

“Our team was celebrating a goal and we have just about lost out on a league title because of it.

“I started football in and around 1982/83 and it is something I have never seen before and will not ever again, I am speechless.”

Richard Macartney was the man in the middle
Tiwi Daramola grabbed two goals on the night