RAITH Rovers defender Simon Mensing has launched a blistering attack on Celtic winger Kris Commons, claiming he went down too easily to win the Parkhead side a penalty during the Scottish Cup match between the two sides on Sunday.
The former Hamilton player felt that the Scotland international had dived early in the second half, with the score tied at 0-0.
“That was the pivotal moment,” insisted Mensing. “I don’t think it was a penalty. Commons was doing it during the game. He is a clever player.”
Commons took the penalty himself, giving Celtic a 1-0 lead, before late goals from Charlie Mulgrew and substitute James Forrest - returning from injury - sealed a 3-0 win for the visitors, after the First Division side had held them until the break.
Mensing added: “The referee got that one wrong. Commons went down too easily and I know that for a fact. I’m really disappointed with it.”
The one-time Derby County midfielder insisted that the referee had been right to award the penalty, claiming: “Mensing tripped me up in the box. That is something you can’t do.
“If he got a bit of the ball, fair enough, but he did not. There was definite contact with my right foot.”
Celtic manager Neil Lennon admitted he hadn’t had a clear view of the incident, but felt his side could have had a penalty earlier in the game, when Raith’s Eddie Malone appeared to handle in the box.
“I felt we could have had a penalty in the first half for what looked like clear handball.
“This is the grey area in the game - it is down to the referee’s discretion, but I’ve seen less clear handballs penalised.”
Stark’s Park boss Grant Murray refused to be drawn on the controversial decision, conceding that the better side had won.
“We put a lot of effort and commitment into the game, but we have lost to a Champions League-quality team.
“I’ve not yet seen the penalty again - my first thought is there did not seem a lot of contact but the referee has given it.”