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Thistle boss Caldwell frustrated after being denied penalty

Partick Thistle manager Gary Caldwell felt his side were denied a clear spot-kick in stoppage-time of their 2-1 William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle.

Thistle had two huge shouts rejected in the latter stages, firstly when John Souttar lunged in on Joe Cardle, and then when Miles Storey went down claiming his legs had been clipped by Christophe Berra.

Jags players surrounded referee Bobby Madden after each incident but Caldwell delivered a measured analysis afterwards.

Caldwell – who has a suspended touchline ban hanging over him after serving a suspension for criticising match officials – said: “I had never been in trouble with refs before but I got in trouble so I have to be careful of what I say.

“But I did go and speak to the ref, calmly. He was very good, he said the first one was no way a penalty and I’ve looked at it back and he’s right. He said the second one he saw contact but he couldn’t be sure. That disappoints me a little bit.

“I have looked at it back and it’s a penalty. Everyone knew it in the stadium, I think Christophe Berra knew it was a penalty.

“It’s disappointing from that point of view, but that’s football. He’s got a very hard job to do, refereeing is not easy, and I don’t blame him.

“I’m just really proud of the team with the way we played. The bravery we showed on the ball was brilliant. And we stood toe to toe for two games with one of the top teams in this country.”

Hearts boss Craig Levein felt his own team were denied a penalty for a foul on Uche Ikpeazu but they were awarded two. Sean Clare netted the first to put Hearts 2-1 up with 10 minutes left of the first half, after Ikpeazu had cancelled out Scott McDonald’s opener.

Ikpeazu saw the second penalty saved by Conor Hazard after being awarded a penalty for a challenge by Blair Spittal.

Levein said: “He had an agreement with (assistant manager) Austin (MacPhee) that if he won a penalty he’d get to take it. Austin sorts the set-pieces. That agreement has been ripped up now…”

The Hearts boss felt his team were worthy winners.

“Once we settled down and scored a couple, I thought we were dominating – until that last five or 10 minutes,” he said.

“They sent their goalie up which is always quite exciting. We had to see it out for the last five minutes.”