You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Okon vexed by Mariners handball decision

AAP logoAAP 18/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Frustrated and dejected Central Coast coach Paul Okon believes an incorrect handball call allowed Brisbane to score the opening goal in Sunday's 2-1 A-League loss.

Okon was quick to vent after Liam Rose was pinged for a first-half handball offence and the Roar subsequently awarded a free-kick that Dimi Petratos belted into the top corner of the net.

The first-season coach, who's recently been outspoken about officiating standards, was seen speaking with referee Chris Beath at halftime and let out an exasperated chuckle when asked about the incident after the match.

"I'm probably the worst person to ask because I don't understand the handball rule," Okon said.

"I keep getting consistently told that it's down to the interpretation of the referee.

"The player says it hit him on the shoulder, that he never went with the arm.

"The referee says he made a movement with his arm.

"I don't recall a movement so from where I'm sitting it doesn't look like a free-kick.

"But it's still got to go in, and it was a great strike that was very difficult for the goalkeeper to get."

The Mariners were rewarded for their mettle with Roy O'Donovan's second-half equaliser thanks to a top-class assist from Fabio Ferreira.

But a clearly disappointed Okon admitted Thomas Broich's "peach of a cross" to set up Jamie Maclaren's winner was simply too good for his ninth-placed side, whose grit he praised but whose front-third execution still needs work.

The loss is Central Coast's third on the trot and comes directly before three formidable match-ups against pacesetters Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Sydney FC.

"We have a nine or 10-day turnaround now until our next game after Christmas," Okon said.

"That's an opportunity for us to get some work into the players, really crank it up.

"Because we've got two games in three days, and then six days later Sydney FC.

"So tough games, but the players showed a lot of belief against a very good team in the Roar, who are in a good patch now."

Defender Jacques Faty is expected to return after playing a youth game to ease back from a knee injury that's kept him out for more than a month.

"He got through that quite well, he feels good, and hopefully he'll now really step it up and put his hand up for the Victory game," Okon said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon