Shane Keegan was unhappy with the mark referee Anthony Buttimer left on the game in Galway on Friday  (Credit: Michael P Ryan)

Shane Keegan: 'It's the club's future at stake - it's my future at stake'
Published: August 19, 2017

Galway United suffered a blow in their fight for Premier Division survival when two goals from Gary Shaw meant the visitors to Eamon Deacy Park Shamrock Rovers went away with a victory on Friday night.


Manager Shane Keegan was left fuming after what he felt was some poor refereeing decisions by Anthony Buttimer at a key moments in the game.


One was a fairly blatant handball in the box which seemed to be at least in the direct eye line of the linesman and the other incident led to Galway’s goal when David Webster punched the ball clear to prevent Gavan Hoolahan nodding the ball into the net, the defender received a yellow for his infraction.


“I’m not annoyed with the officiating over the course of the 90 minutes, I’m annoyed with two incidents. I’m more than a bit annoyed with one because I thought it was a penalty but I just think the other one is farcical,” a visibly agitated Keegan told the assembled media after Friday night’s game.


“His [Buttimer’s] explanation to me was that he didn’t think it was a goal scoring chance. Why would the centre half punch the ball if he didn’t feel he needed to punch the ball or the guy behind him is going to put it into the net? And his explanation makes it even more farcical.


“He’s a guy that is a good referee - he’s able for a bit of give and take. He hasn’t done us for any agenda against Galway United, it’s just a horrendous decision. It’s cost us what I think is a nailed on three points if they’re down to ten men and we’re 1-0 up,” he said.


“I’m not deflecting from our own performance. Our performance was very good in the first half and quite poor in the second half. We should have been good enough to hold on to the point at least, simple as that, so I’m not deflecting,” he added.


Keegan pointed to two other incidents during the season which have left him scratching his head. The first occurred during one of Derry City’s visits to Eamonn Deacy Park when Gerard Doherty handled the ball several feet outside of his own box without consequence.


The second occurred during United’s EA Sports Cup semi-final against Dundalk. The Lillywhites were leading by a goal when Marc Ludden put in a sliding tackle on John Mountney in the box.


Keegan believes it was a well-timed tackle but a penalty was awarded on that occasion and the manager believes decisions like that mounting up could have serious consequences.


“Three unbelievably poor decisions against one team in a season is just infuriating and that doesn’t even come close to covering it.


"It’s the club’s future at stake, it’s my future at stake and decisions like that are going to potentially cost clubs their positions in divisions and personalities their jobs and players potentially their livelihoods as well.”


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Paul Corcoran

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