Mulgrew critical of referee's performance after League Cup final victory

Jamie Mulgrew
Ballymena captain Jim Ervin was booked for a challenge on Mulgrew late in the second half

Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew has criticised the refereeing performance during his side's League Cup final triumph over Ballymena United.

The midfielder was fouled several times during the Blues' 1-0 win in Belfast.

"It's not unusual for me to get kicked from pillar to post, I accept that. That is fine," said Mulgrew.

"But whenever referees are telling you to get up and smiling at you when you nearly got your leg broke, it is not very classy to be honest."

Ballymena skipper Jim Ervin was booked by referee Andrew Davey for a challenge on Mulgrew which prompted a melee involving players from both teams shortly before half-time.

"Whenever referees are saying and doing what they are (is the problem). That is not just me, I see it in other games, it happens to other players.

"The way you get spoken to is quite embarrassing."

Replacement Jonathan McMurray was also shown yellow for a late challenge on the Linfield captain, after which Mulgrew exchanged words with the referee.

"There were two or three other heavy challenges in the second half that probably were not red cards but they all accumulate on someone like Jamie who comes off week in week out black and blue," said Blues boss David Healy.

"He is a leader and he is a big player for this football club and for me."

Healy's side lifted the League Cup for the first time in 11 years courtesy of Andrew Waterworth's 15th minute strike.

Ballymena were on the front foot for the majority of the second half but were unable to find a breakthrough at Windsor Park.