Dundee United defender Jamie Robson believes Christian Doidge’s offside goal killed their Scottish Cup hopes.
Doidge netted Hibs’ second on 58 minutes in Saturday’s Hampden semi-final to set up a showpiece clash with St Johnstone later this month.
The Welshman’s goal, which doubled the Hibees lead after Kevin Nisbet had fired them in front in the first half, knocked the stuffing out of a United side resurgent at the time.
It would end 2-0 as the Tangerines tried in vain to get back into the contest at the national stadium and left-back Robson insists the decision to let Hibs second stand had an impact.
‘I had my hand up and I was screaming for it’
“The offside goal really killed us,” the 23-year-old said.
“If the game was still 1-0 then you know that it only takes one goal and you are right back in it.
“When you are 2-0 down, you need a big turnaround to get the game to extra-time. It was a big disappointment.
“We still had chances after that and we didn’t take them. Hibs took their chances and fair play to them.”
He continued: “I could see right across the line because he was offside on the right-hand side.
“There was no doubt that he was offside. I had my hand up and I was screaming for it.
“I was shouting at the referee but he gave the goal and at that point you know he isn’t going to change his mind.”
Robson believes VAR could be a difference-maker in big Scottish games
Now widespread down south and in European competition, VAR (video assistant referee) is one tool designed to help officials get big calls right.
For occasions like the weekend’s Scottish Cup last-four clashes, Robson believes the technology, however costly and logistically challenging to implement, would be beneficial.
“It would be a good thing, especially if it was in play on Saturday because it would have kept us in the game,” he added.
“It would have given us a fighting chance.
“Certainly, if the goal had been given for us I would have classed it as a controversial decision.
“It would be great to get VAR in, especially at the national stadium for these big games.
“I know it costs a lot of money but even if they were to bring it in for the semi-finals and finals.
“These games are televised so surely it can’t be that hard to do.
“I know they have it in England and I don’t think it will be too long before it is introduced in other countries and up here.
“It will just be too late for us, unfortunately.”
A tough journey back up the road for deflated United
Putting their feeling of aggrievement to one side, Robson says United know they weren’t good enough on the day to get the right result.
The drive home to Dundee was tough for the Terrors and one full of regret after they let many chances go a-begging.
“It was a tough journey back up the road,” Robson admitted.
“Getting to a semi-final was good but the disappointing thing was that we knew we were nowhere near our best on Saturday.
“We didn’t hit the levels we know we could have.
“All the boys know we weren’t at it.
“That is football, at times you are at it and sometimes you aren’t. We needed to take our chances and be a bit more clinical.
“That was how the game went.
“We were 2-0 down and we were trying to throw everything at it to try to get back into the game.
“It opened up for us to create chances but we weren’t clinical enough.
“Even myself, I had a good chance and I should have scored. That just summed up our day.”
All eyes on next season now for Tangerines
Robson revealed boss Micky Mellon’s dejection at full time but says they hope to bounce back strongly next season.
Making a Hampden semi-final and narrowly missing out on the top six has the Tangerines hungry for more next time out.
“He was gutted as well,” Robson said of Mellon.
“He has put a lot into it and he wanted us to get to the final and wants the best for the club.
“He was disappointed and we are better than we showed.
“That was the general feeling in the dressing-room.
“It is good to get to a semi-final but it is just disappointing when you put on a performance like that.
“We just need to regroup and go again next season.
“We will be looking to finish higher up the league and trying to get to a final.”