STEVE Lomas bemoaned another controversial refereeing decision after St Johnstone were held to a goalless draw by Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League yesterday.
Roman Golobart’s second-half challenge on Francisco Sandaza looked a certain penalty, but referee Kevin Clancy waved away claims.
That decision came just a week after Sandaza was denied a strong penalty claim against Celtic at Parkhead and Lomas, whose side still moved into fourth ahead of Dundee United, felt hard done by.
He said: “The ref assured me that Golobart got a toe on the ball and I need to take his word on it.
“Some managers when they complain about a penalty one week will get one the next week, but not at a club like little St Johnstone.”
Lomas admitted he had some strong words for his players at half-time, but also applauded their response. “We were disappointed in the first-half display but we were much better in the second,” he added. “Inverness were excellent in the first period and it took us a while to get to grips with them.
“We created a few good chances and Fran has missed, but we can’t be too critical of him as he’s been brilliant for us.
“We will take some positives. It’s a clean sheet and we moved a point above Dundee United. We are disappointed not to win but maybe that would have been harsh on Inverness, as they were excellent.”
The visitors were the better team in the first half and Jonny Hayes hit the post after a mazy run. But after the break it was all St Johnstone with Sandaza and Marcus Haber wasting chances, although the half was dominated by the non-penalty.
Josh Meekings wasted a rare chance for Caley late on as both sides settled for a draw.
Inverness manager Terry Butcher insisted Clancy’s decision not to award the spot-kick was correct and St Johnstone had nothing to complain about. He said: “It was never a penalty, Sandaza went down too easily in the box. My players were also picking up bookings left, right and centre for soft fouls on the same player, while Billy McKay was getting some rough treatment.”
Butcher praised his players for their response to last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Hibernian.
He said: “I was delighted with the performance. I criticised the players last week but they rammed the words down my throat.”