Bo'ness United boss Max Christie furious at award of East Stirlingshire penalty
Bo’ness United gaffer Max Christie has blasted the decision to award East Stirlingshire a second-half penalty, enabling them to earn a 3-3 draw in an explosive Lowland League encounter at Newtown Park on Saturday.
The game also featured six red cards as a late dismissal for Shire’s Kieran Gibbons for a foul on Danny Galbraith led to a brawl between players and coaching staff on both sides.
Greg Skinner received a second booking and subsequent red for his part in the ensuing melee.
And a clash between Bo’ness’s Craig Comrie and Shire’s Andy Rodden then also saw both players dismissed.
Earlier, two Bo’ness squad men – watching from the sidelines – were red-carded for alleged comments made to the referee.
BU gaffer Christie said: "I think everybody in the ground, including their bench, were just scratching their head as to why the penalty was given. They were gobsmacked by that.
"Our centre-half Greg Skinner and their player were both running for the ball down the side of the box and there was a coming together and they just tangle and fall and he’s given a penalty.
"East Stirlingshire had hardly had a shot on goal second half and then this crazy penalty is awarded against us.
“It was a good game for the neutral but all hell kicked off, and without wanting to slaughter referees I think the ref was traumatised and not ready for it and the game degenerated as a result of the referee not being able to keep control of it.
"It ended up with a brawl at the end of the match and six people ended up being sent off. Young men were fired up and misbehaving, more handbags than fists, pushing and shoving.
"From our point of view, it’s completely unacceptable from our players who got sent off. We’ll be dealing with that and it will certainly not be happening again.
"That aside, it’s a game we should have won. We were 3-2 up and for whatever reason the ref gives this incredible penalty decision and they score to make it 3-3.”
Christie revealed that Galbraith – who was able to get up after Gibbons’ challenge – is OK.
"I think the chap who fouled Danny’s just had a rush of blood,” the BU boss added. “He just tried to halve him.
"Both sets of players didn’t make the referee’s job easy, that’s what I would say in the referee’s defence.”
Bo’ness, 10th in the table with 14 points from 12 games, get a break from league duties this Saturday as they visit Gretna 2008 in the South Challenge Cup’s first round at 2pm.