Football: SAM THE SLAM; CARLING CUP FINAL Bolton 1 Middlesbrough 2 Strife of Riley Has Allardyce in a Final Rage
Byline: ALAN NIXON
ANGRY Sam Allardyce led the chorus of boos for referee Mike Riley after Bolton lost yesterday's Carling Cup final.
The Wanderers boss blasted the official for his part in a tale of two penalties.
Riley was jeered before kick-off by Bolton fans, who believe their team have suffered from his decisions in the past, and whistled as he picked up his medal.
In between, he gave Middlesbrough an early penalty, missed Bolo Zenden touching the spot-kick twice and then ignored a handball by Ugo Ehiogu from a Stelios Giannakopoulos shot at the death.
Allardyce fumed about the display of the man who will referee at Euro 2004 and said: "We always have a problem with Mike Riley in our recent history. He's not our favourite.
"His inconsistency has let us down again. We are disappointed in him for the two major decisions, although Middlesbrough deserved to win. There was
contact between Emerson Thome and Joseph-Desire Job, but if that was clear-cut then so was the handball when Ehiogu made a goalkeeper's save to stop Stelios's shot going in at the end.
"The referee also missed that Zenden hit the ball with his right foot and his left from the spot.
"In the rule book that should be an indirect free kick to us. He will probably say he didn't see it."
Zenden's mis-hit, caused by a slip just as he struck the ball, was one of many bizarre moments in the match that centred around Riley. …