Danny Lafferty was red carded against St. Patrick's Athletic. Team-mate Ciaran Harkin says Danny was a victim of 'evening up' after an earlier red for St Patrick's. Pic by George Sweeney, nwpresspics
Derry City midfielder, Ciaran Harkin, reckons team-mate Danny Lafferty was the victim of 'evening up' following his red card against St Patrick's Athletic last week.
Lafferty, along with several others, was involved in a scuffle when St Pat's Ronan Coughlan was sent off for smashing an elbow in the face of Derry's Ciaran Coll.
Players from both sides quickly got involved in a melee and once calm had been restored, referee Rob Harvey gave a second yellow card to Lafferty that resulted in an early bath.
Harkin though insists his pal was hard done by reckoning the booking he had picked up earlier in the game had played a part in Harvey's decision-making.
He said: “Although I was on the pitch, after the game I watched it back and to me it's a definite red card for them.
“But when you also look at what happened after the elbow incident, the player who the ref sent off from our team is probably the only player we had on the pitch who was on a yellow card at the time.
“If you watch the whole incident back, Danny probably does a whole lot less than any other player involved in that.
“It doesn't make sense. It looks like the ref was looking for a player that was on a yellow card and was wanting to even it up.
“But that didn't phase us as we kept on going. These things happen and you have to make sure that as a team you keep on concentrating.
“St Patrick's were probably getting frustrated by that stage as they had a good start but we got better and better as the game wore on.”
Derry City won 1-0 thanks to a headed goal courtesy of Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.
Despite having their backs to the wall for much of the game, Harkin's reckons the Candystripes' spirit and focus got them through.
He added: “It was a great win and not one that many thought that we could get. It was against the run of play and we didn't play great but we got the lead and we held them off.
“It's great to have three points and obviously, three points at this stage of the season is massive as we're coming to the end of it and we're looking to get up as high up the table as we possibly can.
“Things were not looking too great earlier on in the season but we got a few results together and got ourselves back in the mix and now we've got ourselves in the position to give it a go for third or fourth place.
“It's about making sure that everyone from one to eleven is concentrating and doing their job.
“We know we have the right players to stay in it (during a tough match) and take our chances when they come our way. Junior steps up and get the goal that we need and the other ten players step up to make sure we kept that lead.
“Nathan made a lot of important saves. We knew that St Patrick's were a good team and we knew there would be chances created by them and Nathan stepped up and made some great saves.
“But everyone from one to eleven – even the subs who came – did their job and kept going until the final whistle.”
Away from the pitch, and real-life football, eyes of many players across the world will be turned to see what ratings they have been given when this year's version of the popular computer game, Football Manager, comes out.
Last year, Harkin was rated as Derry's fourth-best player – Danny Lafferty was ranked the best one – with a valuation of 200,000 euros.
Harkin joked: “If I'm the fourth best player on the team according to them then I'll take that.
“As for my valuation, I'll take that as well – especially if I can get a cut of that.
“But I don't really know much about Football Manager or FIFA game ratings but I imagine a few of the boys do.”
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