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Callum Davidson unhappy with Aberdeen’s penalty during St Johnstone’s defeat

St Johnstone v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – McDiarmid Park
(Image credit: Rob Casey)

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson was unhappy with the penalty awarded to Aberdeen during his side’s 2-1 defeat.

The visitors led through a Liam Gordon header, but Sam Cosgrove’s controversial spot-kick and a second-half strike from Ash Taylor turned the game around for the Dons, with Saints substitute Callum Hendry sent off in the 90th minute.

Referee Alan Muir pointed to the spot on the stroke of half-time when Cosgrove went down under the challenge of Jamie McCart, leaving Davidson unhappy.

Davidson said: “I’m baffled as to what the penalty was given for. There’s no tug, no pull. If somebody falls to the floor in the box, for me it has to be a definite incident.

“We were comfortable in the game right up to that point, and it changes the game massively in Aberdeen’s favour.

“The sending off was a sending off. He’s already been booked and he goes in for the tackle. It’s a bookable offence, so that’s it.

“We’ve now lost players to sending offs in three successive games which is disappointing with Callum, Michael O’Halloran and Jason Kerr, and for me that’s not good enough.

“The boys performed well in the first half, and disappointing for me is that we didn’t really have sustained pressure in the second half.

“It’s disappointing to lose games like that and we need to sort how we win those games that we’re actually playing well in.”

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was equally frustrated with the penalty decision.

He said: “I’m as frustrated as Callum is going to be because I think it’s such a soft penalty to be given, but the penalty should have been given for the handball before that.

“It was tough out there for both sets of players. There’s no real enjoyment from the game, the enjoyment comes from the result, and it’s about doing all you can to get the result.

“It’s unfair to criticise the play when it’s as wild as that. You see how hard the pitch is with the ball bouncing over Joe Lewis from that kind of distance. We created that goal for them with untidy play and a needless free-kick.

“We asked the boys at half-time to be a bit more pragmatic and we scored a set play ourselves, and I thought we were the better team in the second half. The players really responded and dug deep to get the win.”