Football: Ref sparks chaotic scenes at Balmoor

Peterhead’s 1-1 draw with Clyde was overshadowed by an inconsistent, infuriating and at times bizarre performance from referee Euan Anderson.

Peterhead’s 1-1 draw with Clyde was overshadowed by an inconsistent, infuriating and at times bizarre performance from referee Euan Anderson.

Peterhead's Balmoor stadium was the scene of a chaotic battle between Clyde and the Blue Toon.

Peterhead's Balmoor stadium was the scene of a chaotic battle between Clyde and the Blue Toon.

The young official, heralded as one the SFA’s bright future talents, incensed both managers with a rash of game-changing decisions.

In the first half, Anderson pulled a promising Toon attack back for a questionable offside call.

Then in the latter part of the second half the man in black lost control of the match altogether.

First came the award of a penalty to Clyde after Peterhead fullback Conner McGlinchey made a desperate lunge to block a shot from John Sweeney.

The ball struck his arm before crossing the line but rather than playing advantage to award the goal, Anderson blew his whistle, ordered McGlinchey off the park and pointed to the penalty spot.

Toon keeper Graeme Smith, whose initial fumble had allowed Sweeney’s shot in the first place, made amends with a smart save low to his left.

The incident left players and both managers frustrated, all sharing the belief the goal should have stood and, in Peterhead manager Jim McInally’s opinion, McGlinchey stayed on the pitch.

The remaining 25 minutes were as bad tempered as any at Balmoor this season.

By the time he blew his final whistle, Anderson had shown another eight yellow cards and one red.

In one particularly contentious moment, Clyde number six Ryan Frances made a rough challenge on David Cox right in front of the dugout and as the two players untangled Frances stamped on the winger’s arm.

Fiery striker Andy Rodgersleapt from the bench to defend his team mate only to find himself the recipient of a second red card this season for ‘entering the field of play.’

It was Anderson’s only response to the incident.

Manager Jim McInally, who watched the it all from only feet away, said: “For the melee in front of our dugout to just come out with a card for Andy Rodgers?

“There was a stamp. Coxy’s got stud marks all down his arm from the stamp.

“The whole thing just turned into a crazy thing.

“If you go back to the original move, Coxy kept the ball in and played it down the line - next thing they’ve got a freekick on the halfway line.”

From that moment, the officials had lost their grip on the match.

Peterhead were denied their first clean sheet of the season when Anderson granted Clyde a fortuitous penalty in stoppage time.

The ball was struck off the arm of Jordon Brown, lain flat out at the time following a tussle in the box, and a foul for handball was given.

A melee of 20 players followed before Kieran Macdonal cooly slotted home from the spot.

McInally said: “There’s absolutely no way he can give a penalty for the second one.

“I thought he’d given us a freekick because Jordon couldn’t get up.

“I was pretty bewildered.

“They tell me the boy stamped at the second penalty as well, on Jordon.

“That’s a boy who missed 16 games last season.

“The penalty he gives against Jordon was for handball - now there was a handball at the halfway line from a Clyde player and he didn’t book him. All you’re asking for is to be consistent.”

The post-match comments of Clyde manager Jim Duffy chimed with those of his counterpart.

Duffy said: “The second one’s impossible to see, there’s a sea of bodies and at that time Peterhead are throwing themselves in front of it.

“If the boy fell on top of it or if it hit his hand, I couldn’t see, but the referee was convinced it hit is hand.

“Jim’ll be bitterly disappointed when you get to that stage of the game you expect the three points to be wrapped up.”

He also expressed his opposition to the first penalty decision.

He said: “The goal should have stood - those are the rules.

“The rules are for the referees to delay it a little. But listen, I’m not going to make a big issue about it.

“I’m not going to cane the referee about it. From our point of view we’re rather have had the goal but it’s an error.”