Fowler blasts officials in Roar victory

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Head coach of Australian A-League club Brisbane Roar, Robbie Fowler (Screenshot via YouTube)

ROBBIE FOWLER was effusive in his praise for his Brisbane Roar side as they produced a dominant display to defeat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 and move into fifth place on the A-League ladder.

However, he was scathing of referee Chris Beath and the match officials, questioning whether an agenda existed against his team.

Beath showed Fowler a yellow card midway through the second half – the former Liverpool striker's second in as many games – and the Roar boss was left fuming in his post-match press conference:

“I’m not sure whether there is an agenda with the referees certainly against us... but we’re not getting any help from the referees. I thought he [Beath] was bang average tonight.”

Fowler stated:

“When you're being told to sit down because you’re asking too many questions, I think that’s poor. I get frustrated... there seems to be a certain arrogance... all managers will get frustrated when you try to talk to the officials but they give you nothing back.”

Fowler had witnessed probably Brisbane’s most complete display of the season, deserving better than the disappointing 8,349 attendance, with Scott McDonald notching his maiden goals for the club with a first-half double. The former Celtic forward swivelled in the box and slotted past Wanderers keeper Daniel Lopar after just three minutes, then made it 2-0 on 38 minutes with a close-range finish that was initially ruled out for offside before VAR intervened and overturned the decision.

Fowler was quick to praise McDonald claiming he had been a “breath of fresh air” since his arrival from Western United back in January:

“We needed someone to come in and have that character to lift the lads and all he’s been lacking is the goals.”

McDonald was denied the chance to claim a hat-trick when the Roar were awarded a penalty after defender Matt Jurman felled Brad Inman in the box. Jay O’Shea stepped up and sent Lopar the wrong way to claim his first A-League goal. 

It was a meek display from a Wanderers side who had come into the game buoyed by an impressive 1-0 victory over neighbours Sydney FC. They had managed to get a foothold back in the game early in the second half when striker Mitch Duke halved the deficit with a well-taken strike to score in five consecutive A-League games and take his total to 11 for the season.

Wanderers coach Jean-Paul de Marigny had little complaints with the result:

“They're a decent side, as we know, they're a good passing side and to be fair they pressed us really high early and they had good energy about them and I felt we didn't match that.”

Wanderers travel to Melbourne City next weekend looking for three points to keep them in top-six contention. As the A-League season enters its business end, the Roar will be hoping for another win at the Suncorp as they entertain rock bottom Central Coast Mariners.

Adam Cattell is a school teacher with a passion for grassroots football. You can follow him @catter100.

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