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Furious Pars blame ref Dallas and his officials for Cup exit

By Ian Orr

DUNFERMLINE'S players were yesterday still struggling to contain their anger over the refereeing decisions they feel cost them a Hampden place. The Pars' senior squad, which could be depleted by seven players for tomorrow's trip to Pittodrie, spent yesterday analysing performances on the video of the CIS Cup quarter-final defeat to Hearts.

However, it was the performance of the officials in the 3-1 defeat which was the subject of debate among many.

At the time manager Davie Hay felt keeper Derek Stillie was impeded by Hearts striker Kevin McKenna in the run-up to Hearts' decisive penalty which made it 2-1.

Yesterday Hay's opinion had not altered although he urged his disappointed players not to get side-tracked by their anger over some of ref Hugh Dallas' decisions.

The Pars boss said: 'Unfortunately nothing is going to change the decision of the referee, no matter what is said.

'If you watch the video you can see Stillie is impeded before the penalty kick but you just have to live with it and hope the decisions balance out in the games ahead.'

Stillie, who was nursing a shoulder injury yesterday, feels he deserved more protection from Dallas when he was bundled by McKenna.

He reckons goalkeepers in the SPL should get more of a helping hand from officials in areas where there are boots and bodies flying.

Stillie said: 'It is disappointing because you do come off the park doubting yourself, wondering if there was anything else you could have done.

'But we all watched the Hearts game again the morning after and we were all of the same opinion.

'In my view, I got to the ball and had two hands on it and I was then challenged by big McKenna.

'He was perfectly entitled to challenge for it but he didn't get near it and took me out.

'The ball then broke and they got the penalty after that.

'It is at times like that you hope to get some protection.

'It probably decided the cup tie. Everyone is very frustrated because we felt we were in the ascendency at that time.

'Getting to the semi-final would have been such a big thing for Dunfermline financially. These decisions have a massive bearing on people's futures.

'Unfortunately there is nothing you can do. We can't afford to dwell on it.

' We just have to focus no won the Aberdeen game because we need to get back on track.'

Pars defender Richie Byrne revealed on the club's official website yesterday that he was booked by Dallas, not for his part in the foul that led to the award,but for appealing the decision.

Byrne said: 'He didn't give me the yellow card for the tackle but for asking why the penalty was given when I stuck out my foot and was not looking to foul the man.

'He just took out the card and threatened to give me another card, which was surprising for asking a question.'

Taken from the Daily Record

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