BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Hibernian midfielder John McGinn is adamant under-fire referee Alan Muir was correct to award the controversial penalty which secured a pivotal 1-0 win over Falkirk.
The 21-year-old won the decisive spot-kick after 40 minutes on Tuesday evening when Blair Alston was deemed to have committed obstruction inside the box.
There appeared to be little Alston could have done to evade McGinn, and Falkirk boss Peter Houston later claimed that even the Hibs player admitted to Bairns defender Paul Watson that it was not a foul.
However, McGinn seemed to refute that suggestion by asserting that he was “barged” in the box and that the spot-kick, which was converted by Jason Cummings, was the correct decision.
The former St Mirren star said: “It’s the referee’s call. He has made the decision and it’s one I’ll agree with.
“I was just trying to get on the other end of my touch. It was a poor touch from myself and I was trying to recover from it. There was nowhere I could go and I’ve been barged over.
“The ref has decided it’s a penalty so we’ll take it.”
Despite the contentious nature of their victory, McGinn believes Alan Stubbs’ men illustrated a resilient side to their character during a testing evening at the Falkirk Stadium.
The visitors were under pressure for large periods of the contest, with Lee Miller striking the bar, and had to withstand a late barrage.
However, they stood firm to register their eighth win in nine outings and move into second spot in the Championship.
Scotland under-21 skipper McGinn continued: “The past few weeks we have been playing fluently and impressing but this was all about getting our sleeves rolled up and winning ugly.
“We’re delighted we kept a clean sheet and got the three points. We showed another side of ourselves.
“We dealt with everything they threw at us and hopefully we can replicate that in the weeks to come.”