Forfar Athletic manager Dick Campbell was left seething after his side were denied a clear penalty in their 4-2 extra-time defeat to Raith Rovers in the Scottish League Cup.
Raith were 3-2 ahead with four minutes of extra time remaining when substitute Omar Kader was knocked to the ground by Christian Nade inside the Rovers penalty box as he readied himself for a shot on goal.
But no decision was given and while Campbell refused to blame the referee for his side’s second cup exit of the season, the boss couldn’t hide his disbelief at the official’s call.
He said: “Omar Kader’s got it, he’s just set up to shoot, and he gets launched in the back. I just can’t believe it. A minute later we miss an absolute sitter in front of goals. Then two minutes later they go up and we score an own goal but that’s football for you.
“I’m not a Dear John boy, we’re out of the cup. And I’m not blaming the referee, but I want to know why he doesn’t give a penalty kick.
“Anyone that thinks that isn’t a penalty kick needs a pair of glasses. I’m annoyed because I thought my boys deserved better than that.”
The manager was full of praise for his players’ performance against the Championship outfit, with Gavin Swankie’s sublime showing described as “world class” by his gaffer.
And Campbell was chuffed to see Forfar cause the Fife side so many problems, saying there wasn’t all that much between the two teams after a marked improvement from the East Fife game the week before.
He continued: “I tell you what, anyone watching that game, you could flip a coin between the two teams. Forfar are a good team, Forfar can play. I’ve went three at the back every time they scored and it caused them problems.
“I’m disappointed but we’ll go on and see what’s in front of us. Performance-wise it’s a different story to last week and you’re always going to get that. If you don’t put your overalls on, you don’t get dirty, and if you don’t get dirty, you don’t win games. We didn’t apply ourselves last week but I knew we’d apply ourselves this week because we weren’t the favourites. We were underdogs.
“I thought the pitch was great and I thought they went about their job well. It was a great first half. I thought Swankie was world class first half. Our goal was as good a goal as you’ll ever see.”
Raith Rovers boss Grant Murray said: “I think it was a bit of a nervy performance from ourselves. Forfar came here with nothing to lose, they wanted a reaction to going out of the Challenge Cup.
“At the end of the day we’re in the next round and that’s all that matters.
“For me, I know we can play better.”