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'The bigger picture is that things got a bit ugly and they shouldn’t have'

Cork City boss John Caulfield was one of six individuals dismissed late in last night’s game against Waterford.

Tempers flare between both sides There was an ugly brawl late in last night's game at the RSC. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

JOHN CAULFIELD HAD no complaints with the decision of referee Rob Rogers to give the Cork City manager his marching orders in the closing stages of last night’s defeat to Waterford.

Caulfield, who was subsequently ordered off, was central to the outbreak of an ugly brawl on the touchline involving players and staff from both sides. Waterford midfielder Bastien Hery shoved Caulfield to the ground after the City boss entered the field of play in an effort to retrieve the ball as his team attempted to take a throw-in.

With the Premier Division champions trailing 2-1 in additional time, Caulfield’s team were urgently trying to restart the game in order to push for an equaliser, which ultimately never came. However, Caulfield accepted afterwards that his encroachment forced the referee to send him to the dressing room.

Waterford manager Alan Reynolds was also dismissed after the incident. Hery and Cork City midfielder Garry Buckley were shown red cards, while City substitute Steven Beattie and Waterford’s Stanley Aborah — who had just been replaced by Sander Puri — were sent off too.

John Caulfield Cork City manager John Caulfield. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“It was unfortunate,” Caulfield said. “It was our throw and Shane Griffin went to get the ball. Unfortunately it went into the Waterford dugout. Obviously there was some time-delaying going on there and they were trying to stop him from getting the ball.

“There were a lot of bodies around the dugout and the ball came out. Bastien Hery just knocked the ball away then. I literally went a couple of paces onto the pitch, trying to get the ball to give it to Shane to take a quick throw and Basten Hery came across and threw his arm into me.

“It sparked a bit of a melee, so we’ll have to wait and see what they think about it. We’re disappointed that some of our lads got involved but at the same time we’ll go through everything tomorrow and look at it.”

Bastien Hery and Shane Griffin Cork City's Shane Griffin and Waterford's Bastien Hery. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Monday night’s Soccer Republic show on RTÉ should shed further light on the exact nature of the incident, but multiple individuals on both teams look likely to be hit with hefty suspensions.

Caulfield said: “In fairness to the referee he said ‘you came onto the pitch to retrieve the ball’. I only went a yard in to maybe speed it up, but he said he had no choice. That’s fine, I can deal with that. The bigger picture is that things got a bit ugly and they shouldn’t have. We’ll have to review it ourselves, but it was disappointing.”

Last night’s defeat — City’s second in their nine games this season — leaves Caulfield’s side in third place, two points behind Waterford and Dundalk, who top the table on goal difference after their 2-1 home win over Shamrock Rovers.

The Leesiders took the lead at the RSC when Conor McCarthy scored in the second minute. However, Izzy Akinade won it for Waterford with 10 minutes remaining after they equalised early in the second half through an own goal from Conor McCormack.

John Caulfield John Caulfield after being pushed by Bastien Hery. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“In the first half we were playing well,” said Caulfield. “They had no chance and we were playing really well. Their midfield weren’t in the game. It’s one of those nights –they have four thousand people and if they get a goal back it lifts the crowd and that’s what happened.

“For some reason, we started retreating and they started taking the game over. You can’t afford to give away two soft goals against a team who are challenging for the league.”

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Paul Dollery

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