St Johnstone winger Michael O’Halloran endorsed manager Tommy Wright’s criticism of referee Euan Anderson in their 1-0 defeat by Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old couldn’t understand how the match officials somehow contrived to fail to spot two fouls on him in the same incident which would have seen Saints awarded a penalty – and the hosts reduced to 10 men – during the first half, when the game was still goal-less.
It was a key moment in the contest and, speaking about it after the game, Wright demanded that Anderson should follow his colleague, John Beaton’s, example.
Beaton telephoned Rangers manager Steven Gerrard to apologise for not awarding his side a spot-kick against Aberdeen at Pittodrie last month and Wright believes that Anderson should do likewise following his howler in West Lothian.
Whether sorry proves to be the hardest word remains to be seen but O’Halloran argues that Anderson deserves to be put on the spot.
“I thought it was a penalty – the initial challenge (by Ciaron Brown) was when I was pushed and then the goalie (Robbie McCrorie) has wiped me out,” he claimed.
“In real time, it was a strong shout for a penalty. Coming back from the break, we wanted to get the three points. It’s disappointing because we had chances.
“We didn’t start the season well but we’ve grafted away and look more solid as a team. However, we need to work on scoring because you’re not going to go through every game without conceding.
“Obviously, the gaffer is disappointed with the result but we’ll look back on this to see how we can do better, learn from it and put it away.
“The good thing is that the games are coming thick and fast now so we’ve got to look forward.”