A flushed and furious Richie Foran could still smile at full-time but there was no disguising his frustration and deflation at being denied a clear-cut penalty award in a game where the fine margins were always going to matter.
The Inverness manager believes better training may be the answer for Scotland’s referees after seeing his team denied with what would surely also have been a straight red card for Hamilton’s Daniel Seaborne as he blocked a Lonsana Doumbouya header near the line after 33 minutes.
Inverness arrested a run of four straight defeats to climb off bottom spot with the excellent Larnell Cole’s, right, second half leveller earning the point. But Hamilton Accies – with a tenth draw of the season – kept up their happy record in the Highlands, Ali Crawford’s first-half free-kick enough to earn Martin Canning’s men a point and stretch their run in Inverness to just one defeat in nine league visits.
“The penalty decision then goes against us – a stonewall penalty,” Foran said. “Not only does he [Seaborne] handle it, the referee is in probably the best position to see it.
“How he doesn’t give it, I just don’t know. It’s blatant.
“Maybe it’s the coaching they’re getting so I don’t want to put too much blame on them. We just want fair decisions.”
Foran revealed the Highlanders had asked the SPFL for a postponement amid a goalkeeping injury crisis, but were told to play one of two 16-year-olds. However, Owain Fon Williams, barring a lapse for Accies’ 16th minute opener from Crawford’s fine free-kick, was excellent after 48 hours of acupuncture, injections and painkillers for a back problem.
The Highlanders had serious cause for grievance for the denied penalty after 33 minutes, but were level in spectacular fashion after 51 minutes.
Jake Mulraney worked a 1-2 with Iain Vigurs who laid the ball into the path of Cole. The Englishman’s response was the crispest of connections and a shot that screamed in off the underside of the bar.