Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Sunday December 3 2006
Dundee United should have taken at least a point away from Easter Road on Saturday, but once again a refereeing blunder allowed Hibernian to escape with an underserved 3 points.
Craig Levein wasn`t impressed with referee Steve Conroy and blasted the official for being too easily influenced by the Hibernian support and for not awarding Dundee United with a stonewall penalty in the late stages of the game.
With Hibernian 2-1 infront, Craig Conway was brought down in the corner of the penalty box by Steven Whittaker & Ivan Sproule, but the whistler waved away Dundee United`s penalty claims and with them the chance of taking a deserved point back to Dundee.
"It was certainly a penalty, but I have been to Ibrox and Parkhead a lot of times and thought I had an absolute certain penalty and didn't get it," said Levein
"Hibs are playing so well and getting a little bit of hype, and getting more people through the doors. Because of that they are putting more pressure on referees and getting a little bit more of the 50/50 decisions than when they were struggling.'
Although, Levein wasn`t the only one that thought United were denied the penalty, so did Craig Conway who was brought down in the box.
Conway said, "I thought it was a penalty. It was only just inside the box and I don't think he made contact with the ball at all.'
Dundee United supporters are used to decisions going against them, it is often fate that when the team plays well and look likely to win or at least get a draw, the referee pops up and spoils the match with some outrageous decisions.
Sometimes that involves giving the opposition a penalty that wasn`t a penalty, or sending off a United player for a handball that wasn`t a handball or sometimes giving Celtic an indirect freekick for a passback that wasn`t a passback - like the time the ball was rebounded off Steven Pressley`s knee and Pierre Van Hooijdonk blasts the resultant freekick into the net.
On this occasion it was not giving Dundee United a stonewall penalty!
They say that refereeing decisions balance themselves out over a season, but United have had 2 stonewall penalties denied in the last two away matches and lost both times (Dunfermline & Hibernian) - so does this mean Craig Levein`s side it due a barrel load of soft penalties later in the campaign?
Date:Sunday December 3 2006
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