BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
FALKIRK boss Peter Houston has savaged bitter rivals Dunfermline for a lack of professionalism in the aftermath of the Myles Hippolyte diving storm – despite confirming he will accept the two-game ban dished out by the SFA on Tuesday.
The Bairns claimed a 2-1 win in an explosive derby clash at the weekend, with the turning point coming when Hippolyte plunged to the turf under a challenge from Sean Murdoch.
Aaron Muirhead slotted home the penalty to cancel out a Nicky Clark opener before Nathan Austin bagged the winner.
However, the spot-kick controversy overshadowed the result, with Dunfermline’s official twitter account stoking the fire by posting a video of the incident – complete with emojis to indicate the player was a diver – online on Saturday evening.
Pars captain Andy Geggan insisted action must be taken to stamp out simulation, while Murdoch accused Hippolyte of “conning” referee Gavin Duncan and stated that he should be banned.
The East End Park side got their wish yesterday when SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan issued a notice of complaint offering a two-match ban, which Houston has accepted after conceding his player “duped” the whistler.
However, the experienced coach is seething at the conduct of the Fifers.
He slammed: “I think Dunfermline have been so unprofessional in some of the comments, tweets and other things I have been shown.
“The lads Murdoch and Geggan have been quick to criticise Myles, but I haven’t seen any for their teammate [David Hopkirk], who was booked for doing exactly the same thing.
“We will look after ourselves, but I have been disappointed with the lack of professionalism coming from Dunfermline, wanting to shop people.
“I understand the frustration, we were given a penalty we shouldn’t have been given. But it was seven minutes into the second half. For them to say it cost them the game, seven minutes into the second half, shows that they lost their composure, their professionalism and the match.
“We’ll move on from it, but we are disappointed in some of the reactions from Dunfermline. Even to the extent of their management team getting the wrong player, Nathan Austin, coming down the tunnel and accusing him of diving. They later chapped the door to apologise to him, but they got that wrong.”
Houston pointedly added: “We have taken 10 points from 12 against Dunfermline this season and I would suggest it could have been 12 if not for a debatable penalty given against Tom Taiwo in December. But we didn’t complain about it and greet like babies.”
Houston also took umbrage with Murdoch suggesting that the fixture was “too big” for up-and-coming official Duncan, and revealed he plans to phone the SFA’s head of refereeing John Fleming to praise the ref’s showing.
He continued: “Myles comes across at an angle, Murdoch palms it away – in the direction that the ball would have gone if Myles had got the first touch. So I sympathise with the referee.
“The stuff coming out from Dunfermline, about the game being too big for him, is absolute nonsense.
“He got one decision wrong in the entire match. I am going to phone John Fleming and praise his performance.”
Hippolyte, meanwhile, will be punished for his indiscretion, Houston has confirmed.
The former Dundee United boss added: “We accept that he duped the referee into thinking there was a touch. I will speak to Myles and he will be punished by me, because I don’t want that at Falkirk.”