Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley has branded Jonc Caulfield’s defence of Alan Bennett as “disgraceful” after a fiery encounter in Tallaght this week.
Bradley’s reaction stems from comments made by his Cork City counterpart earlier in the week in which he claimed that Rovers defender Dave Webster deceived the referee into sending Bennett off during Monday night’s EA Sports Cup semi-final, a game that was settled by a goal from James Doona deep into extra time.
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s FAI Cup game against non-league Glenville on Friday night, Bradley has hit back at Caulfield’s comments and questions how the Leesiders’ manager can defend Bennett’s actions:
“I thought it was disgraceful.
“If you watch it back – and I’ve watched the game three times – how John can defend him is beyond me. Dave has three stud marks across his chest. He pushed him and goes and stands on him. He actually stamps on him, he doesn’t just stand on him, he stamps on him.
“Clever is when Sean Maguire was here and went down when Webby never touched him. You get a peno. You hold your hands up and say, ‘Our defending was naive’.
“I watched it this morning again because I read the comments, it’s crazy how John could suggest that he didn’t stamp on him. I can’t believe he’s had a go at our player saying he needs to apologise for getting stamped on. It’s madness.”
Rovers denied City the chance of winning a historic treble by defeating them on Monday, with Bradley’s side now facing Dundalk in the EA Sports Cup final in September in a bid to collect a trophy after an inconsistent league season.
The Hoops will come up against City again at Tallaght Stadium next month, in a match that (assuming both they and Dundalk keep winning before then) would see the visitors crowned Premier Division champions with a win.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast, we chat to former Bray Wanderers media officer Jillian Godsil, give our take on the ‘barstooler’ debate as well as review and preview the latest League of Ireland action.