Second half substitute Arfield’s 75th minute strike, which looped over the head of goalkeeper Max Stryjek, proved decisive as Rangers preserved their four-point lead at the top of the Premiership table.
Martindale, who admitted his approach to the contest was influenced by the number of key players missing from the Rangers line-up, thought his team would have merited the share of the spoils they appeared to be on course for until Arfield’s intervention.
“Were we a wee bit unlucky not to get a point?,” said Martindale. “We probably were.
“I don’t think we caused Rangers too many problems but our goalkeeper wasn’t that busy. In the second half especially, Rangers got behind us with some good combinations and put dangerous balls into our box.
“We dealt with 99 per cent of them well and then wee Scotty Arfield comes on and flicks one in at the near post. It was debatable if he was trying to finish it but he’s a clever player and his midfield runs are hard to deal with.
“You automatically fall into those low blocks when you come to Ibrox or Parkhead. Tonight, I let the fact Hagi, Morelos, Kent and Aribo were out of the Rangers team come into my thinking and I went a bit more adventurous.
“But fair play to the players who came into the Rangers team. The boy Lowry did well and Rangers got the three points which is all that matters at the end of the day.”