Dunfermline defender Jason Talbot insists justice was done after claiming that he was ‘clothes-lined’ by Brian Graham in the build up to the penalty that was scored by the striker in yesterday’s captivating 2-2 Scottish Cup draw with Ross County.
With the score at 1-1 after Staggies striker Alex Schalk and in-demand Pars striker Faissal El Bakhtaoui exchanged goals, Graham appeared to catch Talbot in the build-up to Schalk drawing a foul from an ill-advised Brad McKay sliding tackle.
With the home fans incensed, Graham added salt to their wounds by scoring from 12 yards in the 27th minute.
McKay, just 24 hours after joining on loan from St Johnstone, made amends with a second half goal to take the fourth round tie to a replay on Tuesday but Talbot is adamant that play should have stopped before County were awarded a penalty.
He said: “I think it was a bit of an injustice to us to be honest.
“It basically felt like a clothes-line, that was pretty much it. A lot of things go against me these days but I’ll keep quiet.
“I don’t want to say too much, things have happened to me in the past.
“You don’t want players sent-off because the games about sportsmanship but there has to be a consistency in what referee’s do.
“Whether I’ve got history or not, they should still protect everyone.”
Schalk fired the Premiership club ahead after just three minutes when the Dutchman latched onto Graham’s pass inside the area and squeezed a left-footed shot past Sean Murdock at his near post.
But the hosts levelled in the 15th minute with a goal from El Bakhtaoui that demonstrated why he has been linked with a move away from the Pars this month.
The French-Moroccan latched onto Joe Cardle’s perfectly-weighted pass, sped away from Marcus Fraser and dodged a tackle from Scott Boyd before crashing a shot high into the net from inside the box.
The teams were going toe-to-toe in what was a compelling contest before Graham scored his controversial penalty.
But the home side roared back again in the second half.
After El Bakhtaoui cracked a volley off the post, McKay atoned by rising high to power Michael Paton’s corner into the net in the 56th minute.
Dunfermline ended the game the stronger and after Paton missed from four yards, El Bakhtaoui had a shot tipped onto the bar by Staggies keeper Scott Fox.
“We definitely dodged a bullet,” said County manager Jim McIntyre.
“We started well enough and scored a good goal but after that Dunfermline were the better team.”
Pars boss Allan Johnston said: “We hit the bar and hit the post, I don’t think we could have done any more. The only criticism is that we didn’t win the game.”