MORTON manager Allan Moore refused to speak to the press after the 92nd-minute controversy that resulted in his side’s League Cup quarter-final defeat at the hands of St Johnstone.
Off microphone, Moore told radio reporters he feared repercussions from the SFA if he discussed referee John McKendrick’s decision to allow Stevie May to retake an added-time free-kick that led to Gary McDonald capitalising on a spill from keeper Nicolas Caraux to send the Perth side through to the semi-finals.
McKendrick decreed that Nacho Novo had broken forward from the Morton defensive wall at May’s first attempt to deliver the ball goalward, and the fury over what proved the decisive moment of an uninspiring tie had not subsided when the final whistle sounded moments later. Morton players encircled McKendrick menacingly and vented their anger at the official in scenes that threatened to turn ugly.
Morton captain Mark McLaughlin defended his players’ reaction on a night when the second-tier side matched their Premiership opponents.
“We were having a go in the right manner,” said McLaughlin. “We were not being disrespectful.
“We were expressing our disappointment that it wasn’t a free kick and that we didn’t think Nacho encroached that much. He was only a yard away from me.
“I think someone has it in for us,” added the defender. “There is not much I can say. Was it a free-kick? I didn’t think there was much in it. And then after that it’s disappointing. It was harsh, but the referee has to make a decision and he feels he made the right one.”