Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Strife of Riley

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Strife of Riley

Article excerpt

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce vented his Carling Cup final frustration on referee Mike Riley after a double penalty controversy.

Allardyce admitted that Boro had deserved their 2-1 victory, but insisted Bolo Zenden should have been penalised for actually kicking the ball twice after slipping just before making contact as he converted Boto's second goal from the penalty spot.

The Bolton boss said: "Zenden played the ball twice, with his right foot and then his left.

"The rules tell you that's an indirect free-kick to us.".

Allardyce was especially frustrated at Riley's failure to award his own side a penalty in the final minute after appeals for handball against Ugo Ehiogu.

"Ehiogu's arm came out and played the ball when it was heading towards goal," he complained.

"It was almost a goalkeeper's dive so we thought it was a clear-cut penalty.

"The referee can't say that he didn't see it and he can't say it wasn't ball to hand, so his inconsistency level has let us down again."

As it was, Riley told Sky Sports that he had not seen either incident but he would only have penalised Zenden's double strike if it had been intentional, which it clearly wasn't.

But Allardyce, who had appealed for common sense decisions before the game, revealed it was not the first time that he had clashed with the official, who is England's representative at the Euro 2004 finals.

"We've always had a problem with Mike Riley in our recent history," he declared.

"He hasn't been very kind to us, to say the least.

"Unfortunately, I have to say that he's lived up to his reputation as far as we're concerned."

Riley first earned Bolton's wrath for dismissing both Paul Warhurst and Dean Holdsworth against Leicester two seasons ago.

"He came back the year after and sent Bruno N'Gotty off," said the Trotters chief. …

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