Jon McCarthy was less than complimentary about Barrow’s tactics and the match officials after Chester FC went down to a 2-1 home defeat against the Bluebirds on Tuesday night .
Barrow claimed the three points at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium thanks to strikes from Richie Bennett and Jordan Williams, and while Tom Shaw pulled one back late on, McCarthy’s men couldn’t muster an equaliser.
It was, though, a game that saw some questionable tactics from the visitors, aided by some weak refereeing from the man in the middle, Peter Wright.
To be fair, Barrow executed their game plan well, killing any pressure from the Blues by hitting the deck as if struck by an imaginary sniper. That, coupled with some poor challenges that went unpunished, allowed the visitors to control proceedings and earn themeselves three vital points in their play-off bid and condemn Chester to another home defeat in 2017.
And Blues boss McCarthy was less than pleased.
“I can understand why they do that, and it is frustrating, but we knew we had to be the opposite,” he said.
“We knew what we would get from them, and I’m not knocking it, it was very effective.
“There is one team there that is trying to get the game flowing and play football and there is one team who are trying stop it. When we had a period of pressure somebody stayed down in the box, we know how that works. It was rubbish, I wouldn’t adopt that with my teams.
“I have streetwise players but you need officials to be streetwise. I can end up having sour grapes and they have done it all season and it has been effective.”
McCarthy was angered by the referee’s failure to award Chester what looked like a stonewall penalty in the second half when Kane Richards was scythed down in the box by Dan Rowe. The referee waved protests away, much to the vexation of the Blues bench and the home supporters.
Said McCarthy: “Am I wrong about the penalty decision? Kane Richards gets across him (Dan Rowe) and how it isn’t that, I don’t know. There was no doubt about it, you only have to look at their bench, the fourth official couldn’t even look at it. The referee goes to do it, but he can’t do it, he can’t do it to Barrow. He can do it to Chester, it just felt like that. It was just a blatant penalty, an outrageous penalty.
“What was the one about Jaap Stam? He would have had to come out at Old Trafford, emptied 15 rounds into someone and it would still be outside the box. That was us.
“There should have been some more bookings and there were some outrageous challenges. On a night in which we come and get ourselves in the position to play and entertain I thought we needed more from other areas.”
Chester are back in action on Saturday when they make the long trip to face relegation threatened Torquay United at Plainmoor (3pm).