Berwick Rangers boss Stuart Malcolm 'unbelievably frustrated' at ref call after being red carded during defeat at Spartans

Berwick Rangers manager Stuart MalcolmBerwick Rangers manager Stuart Malcolm
Berwick Rangers manager Stuart Malcolm
Berwick Rangers boss Stuart Malcolm was red carded for dissent after disputing the referee’s failure to award his side a penalty for Lewis Allan’s shot from seven yards hitting a defender’s hand, with Berwick 3-1 down on 81 minutes of Tuesday night’s Scottish Lowland Football League encounter at The Spartans.

The stunned Shielfield Park gaffer told the Berwickshire News: “I said to the referee: ‘That’s a penalty kick because it hits his hand which is away from his body’.

"Then I said: ‘How do we not get these decisions?’

"He was not happy, he booked me for it. I’m petulant to be fair and continue talking about the poor decision that’s been made and I let him know that I wasn’t happy.

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"The referee is doing his job but I’m unbelievably frustrated because week after week we don’t get these decisions that are meant to be black and white decisions in the penalty boxes.

"The rules of the game are that if the hand’s flaring from the body and it blocks it when the ball looks to be on target with the goal, it’s a penalty kick.

"And the referees get all pompous when they want to hand out cards when we question their decisions.

"I can’t be sure but I think the Spartans defender the ball hit later went off injured because the ball had smashed off his hand. It looked like he went off with a wrist injury.”

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Malcolm’s men had earlier taken a 13th minute lead through Cammy Graham, before the hosts netted through Rhys Armstrong after a long throw-in and surged into a two-goal advantage thanks to a pair of penalties converted by Blair Henderson after fouls.

Berwick pulled it back to 3-2 via Lewis Baker’s 85th minute penalty after a foul on Allan and came agonisingly close to nicking a point one minute into injury time when Lewis Barr shot against a post.

Tuesday night’s battle at The Spartans came three days after Berwick earned a 2-1 home league win over Cowdenbeath.

Berwick trailed to a Sam Newman goal until the dying minutes but won it thanks to an 85th minute headed goal by Lewis Barr and a Liam Buchanan shot a minute later.

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Meanwhile, young Berwick goalkeeper Thomas Kay has joined Fauldhouse United under-20s on loan until the end of the season.

Berwick, 12th with 20 points from 15 games, host Civil Service Strollers in the league this Saturday with kick-off at 3pm.

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