Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Damien Duff at Dalymount Park.

Damien Duff says he was struck by a coin after Cup defeat at Dalymount Park

Duff’s Shelbourne were beaten 1-0 in the FAI Cup last night.

DAMIEN DUFF CLAIMS he was hit by a coin walking off after Shelbourne’s 1-0 FAI Cup defeat to Bohemians at Dalymount Park last night. 

The game was decided by Jonathan Afolabi’s first-half goal, condemning last year’s beaten finalists to an early exit. Asked about an incident as he left the pitch, Duff confirmed he was struck by a coin. 

“I contemplated wearing a cap here tonight because things have been thrown at me before: I want to keep my two eyes”, said Duff. “It’s as simple as that, but what you can do. It was a euro. They didn’t even throw a two.”

Duff was frustrated at the non-award of a penalty for an apparent handball by James McManus, but that was overridden by anger at the fact his side started the game so slowly. 

“It’s absolutely a stonewaller,” said Duff. “They [the officials] are telling me his hand down was by his side. It’s out at a 90-degree angle. It’s right in front of me so that’s really disappointing. Sometimes I wonder if their mics are working and they speak to each other. It was blatant, there for all to see. 

“Here, I’m not going to come in and say ‘we should have had a peno and all’ but the thing that grates me tonight is not Paul [McLaughlin]– I think his name is – the referee. I should know it as he sent me off last season – I’m an innocent man, I did nothing. That’s not what I’m angry at, the penalty decision. It’s our first half of football, I can’t stand that.” 

Duff showed his side a pre-game motivational video but admitted he had to dedicate his half-time team-talk to stoking his players’ emotions, bemoaning what he believes is a trend. 

“It’s been a consistent thing. If I can aim one thing at them over the 18 months, yeah I love them and love working with them, but too many times they leave minutes, moments, and halves of football behind”, said Duff of his players. “Especially halves of football. I can’t contemplate or understand that, as for me it just comes down to mentality. You can’t come to Dalymount and expect Bohs to roll over.”

With reporting by Darryl Geraghty

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