Watch: Was Neil Doyle right to send off Cork City's Alan Bennett for stamping on Shamrock Rovers' Dave Webster?

Fri, Aug 11 2017

Bennett is given his marching orders at Tallaght Stadium on Monday night. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

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Shamrock Rovers advanced to the EA Sports Cup final on Monday night thanks to a last-gasp extra time win over Cork City at Tallaght Stadium.

 

We've already seen James Doona's well-taken 120th-minute winner, but there was another moment that dominated the game as City captain Alan Bennett was sent off late in the first half.

 

An off-the-ball incident between the defender and his opposite number Dave Webster saw the latter sprawled in his own box for several minutes as he received treatment.

 

Referee Neil Doyle had little hesitation in reaching for his back pocket and producing the red card after he deemed Bennett to have stamped on the Hoops defender.

 

City boss John Caulfield was unequivocal when quizzed by reporters the following day that Bennett had done nothing wrong and accused Webster of conning the referee.

 

"The Bennet incident was never a sending off,” Caulfield told the media back in Cork.

 

“It ruined what was shaping up to be a good game. We had an innocent man red carded in Alan Bennett and we didn't get a blatant penalty before half-time for handball.

 

“There was no stamp from Benno, and I have seen the video of it. Dave Webster is a clever player.

 

“Webster fell on the ground and they all gathered around him. I'm hoping he will stand up and be counted.

 

"Alan Bennett has an impeccable record and he's not very happy about it all. The ref was conned for the red card."

 

In his pre-match statements ahead of the FAI Cup tie with Glenville, Rovers boss Stephen Bradley expressed bemusement at Caulfield's comments.

 

“I watched the game (and red card incident) back,” Bradley told Shamrock Rovers' media team.

 

“It’s absolutely scandalous how John Caulfield can say our player should apologise to Alan Bennett.

 

“It’s clear as anything that Alan pushes him onto the ground first of all and then goes and stamps on his chest.

 

“Dave Webster has three stud marks to show it as well. For John to suggest that he was lying and wants our player to apologise is unbelievable.

 

“The stamp is so obvious it’s frightening.”

 

Did Alan Bennett stamp on Dave Webster's chest or did the Shamrock Rovers defender, in Caulfield's words, 'con the referee'?

 

It's difficult to tell from the video below, recorded from the League's live stream of the game, but it's hard to see how Caulfield can be so adamant that Webster is a cheat.

 

Judge for yourself.