Football - Penalty proves costly for Dundee

Dundee boss John Brown believes his side were cheated out of Clydesdale Bank Premier League survival by two poor decisions.

PA Sport
Football - Penalty proves costly for Dundee

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John Brown's Dundee have been relegated from the SPL after just one season in the top flight

The Dark Blues needed to beat the Dons at Dens Park but their 1-1 draw means they drop out of the top-flight after just one season. Brown's men had looked to be on course for victory after Jim McAlister's deflected first-half strike and a straight red card for Reds striker Rory Fallon following an off-the-ball kick at Declan Gallagher had put them in command.

But their attempt at a remarkable escape act, which had already seen them twice postpone demotion by beating St Mirren and then Hearts, was finally snuffed out when Aberdeen midfielder Peter Pawlett took a tumble in the box to earn the visitors a 69th-minute penalty.

Niall McGinn rammed the spot-kick home but replays appeared to show that Pawlett had gone over easily as he was challenged by Lewis Toshney, sparking a furious response from Brown.

"(Toshney) has gone out and stood his ground and the guy (Pawlett) just dives two-footed. If anything it must have been a booking for him rather than a penalty kick," said Brown, whose side had a penalty appeal of their own turned down by referee Alan Muir when Issac Osbourne barged into McAlister in first-half stoppage time.

"I thought that was a stonewall penalty in the first half. Look at it on the highlights and you will see that one was a penalty and the other wasn't. That has taken us down. I am disappointed for all the fans. Aberdeen didn't look as if they were going to threaten us. You expect officials to do their job and it makes a mockery of it.

"I haven't really criticised the player (Pawlett) yet but to take a dive, he should be ashamed of himself. But, there you go. How many cheats are there in the game? (We have) a referee that can go to his work on a Monday morning and can sleep well. This is our livelihoods. It has been taken out of our hands. It is a shocking decision for the penalty kick.

"That has taken us down. That decision has taken us down and it's a disgrace. It is the worst thing I have ever seen. He can't get it right. That is where you think (about) technology. For 30 seconds, whether it's a sending off or other key moments, you could stop the game when players are down faking injury or whatever. But they can't bring in that technology and it's a disgrace."

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes admitted he felt for his former Rangers team-mate but insists Brown is the man to help Dundee rise again.

He said: "It was not today that has cost Dundee. Bomber and his players can take a lot of pride from what they have done over the last few weeks. Dundee are in good hands, there is no question about that. When you see what Bomber and his players have put into it, there is a feeling of sympathy for that."

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