Thursday night was not the night we were hoping for with Shamrock Rovers and Cork City in Europa League action, as both sides fell to a one-goal deficit at home. While Rovers scored twice but let three in at the other end, City were held scoreless and left frustrated.
Cork City hosted Larnaca of Cyrpus and their winning goal was infuriatingly soft for John Caulfield as his side failed to deal with a corner, and now face an uphill battle to make it through to the next round.
Speaking to Eir Sport after the game, Caulfield expressed his dissatisfaction with the playacting of the visiting team, who he felt spent too much of the game going down and feigning injury.
He was not trying to excuse his side's poor performance and acknowledged that the goal put the opposition in full control, but after speaking to the referee's inspector he made it clear that he was not impressed.
At half-time, we still felt we were in a good position.
We thought we could maybe open them up but they're a clever side, a good side, I suppose the frustrating thing for us is that they were going down so easily. It's frustrating and I suppose it's the curse of the modern game that referees let guys fall over.
But in saying that, for us, we gave away a sloppy goal from a corner and when they were 1-0 up they were able to kill the game off. Obviously we had a few half chances near the end, Seanie [Maguire] possibly was too honest, he stayed on his feet, when he possibly was taken down.
We just asked the referee's inspector there what he thought and he said they were very clever going down, is that clever or is it cheating? It's the curse of the modern game that people fall down so much, particularly when there's nothing wrong with them. Their physio didn't have to come off the bench, so there was nothing wrong with most of them.
— eirSport (@eirSport) July 13, 2017
City's physicality certainly did seem to catch Larnaca by surprise and they took their sweet time in recovering from a few early challenges, but fans from outside of Cork would argue that the League of Ireland leaders themselves have benefitted from a few favourable decision or two in recent weeks.
That said, when you ask a referee's inspector for his views only to be told that the opposition were clever is bound to upset any manager after a loss, and Caulfield made his feelings known on Eir Sport.
They'll go again next week, and they'll need to score in Cyprus.