DUNFERMLINE keeper Sean Murdoch is adamant Falkirk’s Myles Hippolyte is guilty of ‘conning’ the officials with a dive in Saturday’s explosive derby and should face SFA action.
With Dunfermline leading 1-0 eight minutes into the second half, the Bairns were awarded a controversial penalty when Murdoch was accused by referee Gavin Duncan of upending Hippolyte.
Video footage of the incident shows Murdoch palming the ball away for a corner before the Bairns attacker somersaults over the goalie’s challenge.
Murdoch was booked for his angry protests at Duncan’s decision and could be seen remonstrating with the stand-side linesman Stuart Stevenson – the assistant to Don Robertson when the officials missed Alex Schalk’s dive in winning a penalty for Ross County against Celtic two weekends ago.
And the frustrated former Hamilton Accies and Hibs player insists the incident should not now be swept under the carpet and forgotten about.
He said: “The video of the incident has been viewed thousands and thousands and thousands of times on social media.
“I think we can all clearly see it’s a dive. There’s no contact at all and I clearly win the ball. There’s no doubt in my head.
“When I saw the referee giving a penalty kick I was in full rage and probably went a wee bit over the top.
“But it was such a poor decision and for it to happen in a game of that magnitude is really frustrating.
“You don’t want to call people cheats and things like that but the player has clearly, clearly conned the ref.
“I didn’t realise until I watched the video that he did a somersault – I don’t know how, it was incredible!
“I don’t know him, personally, but it was really, really poor from the Falkirk guy.
“You don’t want to see players getting banned but he has clearly conned the referee to gain an advantage – everyone can see that, even the Falkirk fans.
“If the SFA want to act upon that then they can, and rightly so. That’s down to them.
“It’s a combination of a few really poor things – the player, the referee and the assistant.
“The assistant referee on the dugout side, Stuart Stevenson, really needs to get involved. I know he was part of the Celtic-Ross County game, so he’s not had a good week.
“It’s not sour grapes, it’s just frustration more than anything else, because when you’re on the wrong end of deceit in that manner it hurts a lot and it hurts the fans a lot.”
Murdoch reckons whistler Duncan was right to send off Dunfermline substitute Lewis Martin just five minutes after the penalty.
But, with Nathan Austin giving Falkirk a crucial 2-1 victory, Murdoch believes the SFA should also look at Duncan’s appointment to a traditionally feisty game that attracted over 5,000 supporters.
He added: “There’s been a lot said about the referee. I’ve never had Gavin Duncan before but I think the game was a little bit too big for him.
“These games are as important as Celtic-Rangers, on a smaller scale. There’s a smaller fan-base but it means just as much to the supporters as it does to Celtic and Rangers, or Hearts and Hibs, which I’ve been involved in.
“I feel for the Dunfermline fans because I feel we were well in control of the game up until that point. It was pivotal.”