’Gow boss unhappy at cup exit

Lesmahagow manager Robert Irving cuts a frustrated figure watching his team's Scottish Junior Cup defeat to Irvine Meadow (Pic by Sarah Peters)

Lesmahagow manager Robert Irving cuts a frustrated figure watching his team's Scottish Junior Cup defeat to Irvine Meadow (Pic by Sarah Peters)

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Lesmahagow Juniors manager Robert Irvine was not happy at being dumped out of the Scottish Junior Cup by Irvine Meadow on Saturday.

A fuming Robert was sent from the dugout by the officials after venting his spleen at the controversial decision to red card ’Gow ace Jordan Lithgow in the second half for two innocuous looking bookings.

“Jordan was unfairly sent off,” Robert said.

“The first incident was just a coming together of players and the second booking was fairly similar.

“The boy ran across Jordan; his foot had left the ground before he made contact with Jordan and Jordan couldn’t get out the way. It was a very soft decision to send him off.

“It happened right next to the dugout and I could see Jordan did nothing wrong.”

Robert said that the referee’s decision to send off Lithgow was made even more baffling by his lenient treatment of Irvine offences throughout the match.

“Meadow players were lunging into tackles,” he added. “I thought they warranted a booking, yet he was just talking to them and then booking Jordan for much less.”

After a goalless opening 45 minutes, the second half exploded into life with ’Gow missing a great chance to go ahead when Michael Collinder just failed to connect with Lithgow’s cross.

This was to prove costly when Super League Division 1 outfit Meadow won a 75th minute penalty when ’Gow keeper Stewart Leishman fouled their player after a defensive mix-up with Darren Lygate.

Ben Carson netted from the spot to put the visitors 1-0 up.

And Robert’s ire was sparked further when Irvine notched a second goal which looked offside, Andy Cripps netting a cross from the right.

“That goal looked at least two yards offside,” the Lesmahagow gaffer added.

“It was ironic that there should be a decision like that because we don’t have linesmen at bog standard league games but we had two there on Saturday.

“It was a very frustrating day because it was a tie I thought we could have won.

“But we didn’t do enough to win the game.

“It is really disappointing to go out of the cup at this stage of the season.”

Saturday’s tie was a repeat of the fixture which saw a record 24,000 pack into Craighead Park for a 0-0 Scottish Junior Cup draw way back in 1948.