Dunfermline Athletic

Managers post Ayr United

Saturday, 3rd Dec 2016

Allan Johnston felt that a crazy refereeing decision totally changed the outcome of the match against Ayr United


- - Listen to these Allan Johnstons comments

The Pars boss told the media:-

"We got the goal in the first half showing a bit of quality. Higgy turned his man, Lewis Martin got forward and put a great ball into the box. It was a fantastic finish from Nicky Clark. Overall in the first half we were probably just slightly ahead, there wasn`t much between the two teams. I would say that we had the more chances.

"Second half it all swings with the referee`s decisions. He must have been the only person in the stadium that saw a penalty kick. I went and spoke to him after the match and he said he thought Lewis Martin was holding (the Ayr player). I have watched the video again and both players are holding each other.

"Actually the Ayr United player grabs hold of him first. There is no way the referee can see it either because there are plenty bodies in front.

"Farid ends up clearing the header so I don`t know how he can give a penalty there. It is impossible for the linesman to see it as well. He has not got a clear view, it is a crazy decision.

"We end up a man down, under pressure but all credit to the players I thought they responded really well. We came back and one a couple of penalties and it was just our luck that we don`t score them.

"Look at the first penalty, surely that is a sending off? It was a terrible tackle from McKenna in the box. The referee says it was a genuine attempt for the ball but he was miles away from the ball so surely it is a sending off, he doesn`t even book him.

"It is really frustrating when you see that but credit to the players I thought they were magnificent. They kept on going, created chances. We had a couple of other chances in the second half, we defended well and if we keep playing like that we will do really well."

After missing two penalties in the last ten minutes, Kallum Higginbotham left the field in tears and the manager was asked how he was after the match:-

"He was absolutely gutted. We tried three different penalty takers the last time against Dundee United, Kallum was happy to hit the second one and he couldn`t have hit it any better. The first one was hardly his best penalty but the second one was a good penalty with good power on it. It was just a fantastic save and there is not much you can do about that. Disappointed."

Are there designated penalty takers:-

"Higgy was happy to take it, he scored the last one here so he was the penalty taker. He missed the first one but was confident to go up and hit the second one. It took a fantastic save, so he was really unlucky. You have to take your chances."

With the hat trick of saves in the Dundee United game followed by the double misses against Ayr United, did it feel like lightning striking twice?

"It is unbelievable, I don`t think I have ever seen it before. The last time it was three different penalty takers, this time it was the same penalty taker. We need to convert these types of chances because the boys worked incredibly hard and I thought that were even the better team with ten men.

"Ayr had a lot of possession without creating a lot of chances. We just have to make sure now that we lift ourselves and are ready for next week."

Are penalties practiced?

"They score every day in training, it is easy to score when there is no pressure. It is completely different. We have penalties at the end of training if it`s a draw, everybody scores and it is very rarely that you see somebody missing. It is hard to replicate that in training."

Ayr`s point raises their total to 16, Dumbarton` win at Dumfries lifts the Sons on to 14 points and into eighth place a point more than Dunfermline. Did the manager feel any pressure from the league position?

"I don`t think there is any pressure, as we have said before it is about what we do. You can see the quality that we have got in the team. You can see the performances, we have been really unlucky at times and I`m sure our luck will turn if we keep playing and working as hard as we did there."

Allan Johnston added that he hoped Nicky Clark would recover after sustaining the injury that caused his substitution.

"He just blocked a tackle towards the end of the first half, he was feeling his ankle and just tried to run it off. Hopefully he will be okay."


- - Listen to Ian McCalls post match comments



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