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ALLAN JOHNSTON has accused Peter Houston of deflection tactics after the Falkirk manager hit out at Dunfermline over the clubs’ derby dive row.
Dunfermline were left seething by their 2-1 defeat to Falkirk on Saturday after accusing Myles Hippolyte of deliberately tumbling to win a penalty when the Pars were 1-0 ahead.
After calls from East End Park for the Bairns attacker to be censured for simulation, the SFA agreed and Hippolyte accepted a two-match ban on Tuesday.
The former Livingston player’s guilt did not stop Houston from launching a scathing attack on Dunfermline, condemning them for being ‘unprofessional’ in their reaction to the incident.
But, whilst admitting Houston has played a blinder in his protection of his own player, Johnston insists his opposite number’s criticism should not be allowed to distract attention from the fact Hippolyte was in the wrong.
The Pars boss said: “It’s disappointing that we lost the game, first and foremost, because it looked at 1-0 as though we were the team in control.
“Then the penalty decision changed things and a couple of minutes later we had a man [Lewis Martin] sent-off and maybe lost a bit of focus.
“But you can’t really defend that, when people dive.
“It’s disappointing, actually, when you see some of the stuff that’s come out since then having a go at some of our players.
“Especially when you see that they’ve accepted that Myles Hippolyte has dived and they’ve not appealed against the two-match ban.
“I think that speaks for itself.
“I think it’s probably them trying to deflect attention from their player, because the story has focused on everybody else apart from Myles Hippolyte.
“Maybe that was good man-management from Peter Houston.”
Dunfermline host Morton on Saturday knowing they are safe in the Championship and cannot land a play-off place.
But they are desperate to remain in their current fifth spot in the table and are keen to secure a victory in their final match at East End Park this term.
Johnston added: “We still want to finish fifth, so it’s an important couple of games coming up and you want to test yourself against the best teams and try to pick up results.
“Especially at home, you want to finish on a high.”