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Hamilton boss Rice refuses to blame referee after defeat

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice refused to point the finger at referee Nick Walsh after a Betfred Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Queen’s Park.

Rice insists Hamilton only have themselves to blame for the 6-5 shoot-out loss to the League Two outfit.

Following a 0-0 draw the bonus point in the Group F opener was decided on penalties and when Blair Alston missed for Hamilton and Calvin McGrory blazed over for Queen’s Park it went to sudden death.

Hamilton thought they had won it when Owain Fon Williams saved Alfredo Agyeman’s effort but referee Walsh ordered a retake as he adjudged the keeper to have moved off the goalline too early.

Agyeman scored at the second attempt and when Hamilton skipper Darian MacKinnon saw his penalty saved by William Muir and then Thomas Block stepped up to score the winner.

Rice said: “Was the penalty retake harsh? Not really, I think rules are rules. I was too far away to see but I’m never one to complain about referee’s making decisions, I’ve learned you can’t win so there is no point in complaining about it.

“If the goalie has broken the rules, he’s broken the rules. I’ve no complaints.

“I thought we were really poor.

“We lacked energy, we lacked sharpness, I thought we looked a bit leggy all over.

“I just felt we weren’t at it and I’m really disappointed. I expect a lot more.

“There’s no excuses for it and we’re not going to make excuses, I thought Queen’s Park deserved to win.”

Queen’s Park manager Mark Roberts claimed Fon Williams had been warned about moving off his line.

Roberts said: “Their keeper was warned twice before the referee punished him.

“It’s a mad rule but you have to adhere to it.”