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The Candystripes slumped to another home loss on Friday night and their manager is dissatisfied with the referee's performance

Derry City manager Declan Devine believes his side are being harshly treated by Airtricity Premier Division officials after their 2-1 defeat to Sligo Rovers on Friday.

The Candystripes have picked up 43 yellow cards as well as five red cards already this campaign and Devine feels that a lot have not been justified.

"I am glad that television cameras were here tonight because we had a few players booked for absolutely nothing. Ruaidhri Higgins was emptied towards the end of the first half and how that challenge was the equivalent to some of the ones we were cautioned for I do not know," he told the Derry Journal.

"One of their [Sligo Rovers] players dived early in the game. We have had two players sent off for diving this season yet their player didn’t even get booked. We are getting harshly treated."

Despite blasting the officials, Devine did admit that his side came up short on the night. "the reality is that the referee didn’t lose the game tonight," he said. "We gave away two poor goals and were punished.”

Derry currently lie seventh in the table after their latest defeat and have struggled in recent weeks due to a large number of injuries. Devine has added numbers to his squad during the summer transfer window and recently-signed striker Conor Murphy made his debut for the club at the Brandywell on Friday.

The Derry tactician was full of praise for the teenage striker after the game and says he has a bright future ahead of him.

“Conor is only 19 years old," Devine said. "He has loads of ability and he’s a player that I have admired for a few years since he was with Bray Wanderers. He’s set himself up well and as a minimum I want players to work hard when they play for this club and I feel that Conor did that tonight.

"He put their two centre backs under pressure and dropped into a little pocket to play that great pass for David McDaid to score. I think Conor has the potential to do very well here,” Devine said.

Derry City take on Dundalk at Oriel Park on Friday.

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