‘Simulation, cheating, a dive,’ Livingston boss Gary Holt rages at Scott Allan and calls for Hibs ace to be punished

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SEETHING Livingston boss Gary Holt has accused Scott Allan of ‘cheating’ to win a penalty and insists the Hibs playmaker should be retrospectively punished for diving.

Allan, 27, plunged to the turf on the hour mark during Wednesday’s breathless clash between the sides as Marvin Bartley and Hakeem Odoffin sought to close him down inside the box.

Whistler Gavin Duncan immediately pointed to the spot and Allan dusted himself off to slam home from 12 yards, bringing the score back to 2-1. Hibs went on to level through Martin Boyle in the fifth minute of injury time.

Allan hits the deck under close attention from Bartley

However, subsequent footage has shown that there was little, if any, contact and Holt did not pull his punches when reflecting on the turning point.

He firmly believes that Allan should be carpeted by the Scottish FA, citing Jordan Jones’ two-match ban following a case of simulation against Dundee last October while he was still starring for Kilmarnock.

He said: “I’ve seen the penalty incident again. Simulation, cheating, a dive – use whatever words you like to describe what that was.

“From where I was standing, I didn’t know whether if Marvin [Bartley] or Hak [Hakeem Odoffin] had caught him. I’m thinking ‘was there a touch?’ But Marv was adamant that no-one laid a foot, a glove or a breath near him.

“I’m not going to say ‘no, it’s fine’, because it hurts. It hurts the players. They all feel cheated. It’s a strong word, but that’s what it is.

“I don’t like talking about other teams’ players but when an incident has that much effect on the game then someone needs to look at it.

“There was the case last year when Jordan Jones received a retrospective ban and was castigated for it and everyone frowned upon it. I think Jordan said he stubbed his foot or there was a little bit of contact, if I remember. However, only he knows – and this time, only Scott Allan knows.”

The penalty afforded Hibs a lifeline, lifted the mood around Easter Road and ultimately sparked a dramatic comeback after Livi seemed destined to inflict further pain on embattled head coach Paul Heckingbottom.

Holt continued: “I can’t sugar coat it. I can’t sit here and say anything other than it gave them a massive lift in the game. It’s a huge moment.

“We had rode the storm at the start of the second half, we changed things a little bit – going three at the back – and we settled. Then that decision comes.

“My players are very aggrieved.”

Holt reckons it is the second consecutive game where key decisions have gone against them.

He remains adamant Livi should have been awarded a penalty in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Hearts for an incident which occurred prior to Aymen Souda being dismissed for a dangerous challenge on Christophe Berra.

Tooth and Nail

And he feels equally let down by Mr Duncan.

He said: “At the time I wasn’t sure. I thought the referee had a better angle and was closer to it – and he’s got to get those right.

“We are battling tooth and nail to stay in this league.

“It’s an unnatural thing to see and we don’t see it too often up here. Scott is probably waiting for the contact to come and, when it didn’t, still went down – but then the referee has to do his job and get it right. He hasn’t and it’s had a massive effect on the game.

“That’s two in a row now which have cost us. Scott Robinson should get a penalty against Hearts before the Aymen [Souda] red card happens, then that shouldn’t have been a penalty last night. These are bitter pills to swallow.”

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