JON MCCARTHY bemoaned a number of key decisions which went against Chester as they suffered a fifth home defeat on the bounce against Barrow.
Paul Cox’s Bluebirds adopted some robust tactics to emerge with a gritty 2-1 victory but referee Peter Wright was at the centre of attention for much of the 90 minutes, failing to punish Barrow for a series of rash tackles and denying Kane Richards what looked like a stonewall penalty in the second-half.
McCarthy thought some of Barrow’s tackling in the first-half was ‘outrageous’ and felt aggrieved that the Blues continue to be on the receiving end of some questionable refereeing decisions against the top clubs.
“From our side of things, we performed well,” he said. “It’s a strong Barrow team, I can understand why they adopt tactics like that, they are big, strong and organised.
“I know why they do that, we had to be the opposite. I’m not knocking it, if I had players like that I’d go with it. We had to be quick, pass the ball, and it’s frustrating because there was one team trying to get the game flowing and one tried to stop it.
“I have street-wise players but you need officials to be street-wise. We don’t wait for Barrow to all get into position to take a throw-in and things like that killed the game. I can end up with sour grapes, it’s a guess decision with the first goal for offside, but the (assistant referee) officials by me was behind play so he couldn’t see.
“It feels like there’s a perception that Barrow should beat Chester. That Dagenham, Dover should beat Chester, so even when we perform, it goes against us.
“How it wasn’t a penalty on Kane Richards? It was a blatant penalty, no doubt about it. You only have to look at their bench and the fourth official couldn’t believe it! But the referee can’t do it to Barrow.
“There’s bookings in there they should have had, some outrageous challenges from behind. They are good officials and they will have better nights, but we got ourselves in a position to play and we deserved more from them.
“There’s a pattern to it and it was when we had periods of pressure, then someone stayed down in the box. It’s rubbish and I wouldn’t adopt it with my players, but Barrow do that and it happens consistently.
“There was naiveity there, the officials need to have that in the game. There’s standards, morals and integrity in football and I have that, I don’t mind a bit of gamesmanship but not to dive, go down and if my players do that I’d criticise them for that.”
McCarthy, who wants to retain the majority of his squad in the summer, believes his young players will learn a great deal from facing teams like Barrow.
“We scored a great goal, its a great piece of football to get us back into the game,” he added.
“Despite all the odds, we’ve got the goal but it’s gone against us against the top teams.
“There’s something about our lads and they’ll learn from that. They’ll have another 30-40 games under their belts this season so I think there will be less mistakes next year, less the year after, and less the year after that.”
See full story in the Chester Leader