RYAN McGivern, the Hibs defender, said he was shocked by the decision to award a penalty for his challenge on Gary Mackay-Steven in the closing stages of yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Dundee United at Tannadice.
Television pictures proved that his foul, five minutes from the end, had been committed outside the box, but Alan Muir, the referee, pointed to the spot, from where Johnny Russell scored United’s equaliser.
“I knew when I stuck my left foot out I was giving away a free kick, but when I turned round and the referee had pointed to the spot, I was shocked,” said McGivern. “I tried to have a word with the linesman, but he was having none of it.
“I think the linesman has to help the referee out there. I’m not sure what the referee’s position was, but the linesman should be level.
“I’ve seen it back on the replay and you can see I’m stood outside the box when I’ve made the tackle. It’s very disappointing.” Pat Fenlon, the Hibs manager, who felt that his team deserved all three points, refused to criticise the referee.
He preferred to concentrate on the fact that, just eight days after beating St Mirren in Paisley, his team had again played well away from home.
“We all make mistakes,” he said. “We just have to get on with it. The game is so quick. I’ve seen it, and it was a good foot outside the box. Over the course of the season you get some that go for you and some that go against you. I haven’t spoken to the referee.
“I’m not one that goes banging on referee’s doors. They have a hard enough job without me doing that. There are plenty of mistakes over the course of the season so you just have to live with it. You’re hoping that they balance themselves out.
“You’ve just got to move on and take the positives out of it. The positives are that in the last two games, we have played really well.
“We’ve picked up four points out of six on the road at two difficult venues.”
Fenlon was also upbeat on the fitness of Leigh Griffiths, who was outstanding prior to going off with 21 minutes left, revealing he had suffered only a dead leg.
“He (Griffiths) was exceptional, but as a team we were very, very good,” said Fenlon. “Lewis Stevenson at right-back was really good against a very dangerous player [Mackay-Steven] but as a team, the performance was good.”
Jackie McNamara, the United manager, was angry that two set pieces had led to the Hibs goals, but he was pleased with his team’s fightback, especially after he had pushed Jon Daly up front from his original berth at centre-back.
“I thought we deserved a point for the second-half performance,” he said.