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East Kilbride Thistle receive 'sorry' message from referee after blunder in cup defeat

Daily Record logo Daily Record 25/11/2021 Ben Banks

East Kilbride Thistle boss Alan Paterson was left gutted after refereeing decisions played a huge part in his side’s elimination from the South Challenge Cup against Lowland League Bo’ness United.

The West of Scotland Football League club were underdogs against fifth tier opposition, and eventually succumbed to a 3-0 third round defeat after United goals from Nick Locke, Keir Macauley and Gregor Nicol.

Thistle had a goal ruled offside at 0-0 and referee Alex Shepherd didn’t see a handball from Bo’ness off a Thistle free kick - which he later admitted should have been a spot-kick.

But Paterson was thrilled with his side’s efforts, if not the refereeing performance.

He said: “We went up there as a 14/1 shot which tells you all you need to know. They have a great setup. It’s second to none and you can understand where they are.

“Bo’ness are no mugs but if you watch it back, we scored that goal that was ruled offside. The footage shows that he is onside. Then we have a stonewall penalty kick denied.

“It’s totally stonewall and their goalkeeper made two or three good saves, along with us having another two or three chances. We could have went in at half-time 2-0 or 3-0 up.

East Kilbride Thistle boss Alan Paterson was pleased with his side's efforts. © Stuart Vance/ReachPlc East Kilbride Thistle boss Alan Paterson was pleased with his side's efforts.

“But instead we’re in at 1-0 down. The referee spoke to me after the game and said that he had watched the footage back. He apologised over the penalty kick as where he’s standing, he can’t give it.

“He can’t see. Their manager even turned round to our bench and said ‘oh my, oh my.’ To go in at half time 1-0 down was a bit against the run of play as they knew they were in a game.

“The boys were superb but we knew that second goal would win the game. I think that if we had scored, their heads would have went down. But they started better than us and we missed a great chance.”

The Jags aren’t back in Conference C action until December 4th against Glasgow Perthshire and they only have one more league game afterwards before the end of 2021 - a home match against Wishaw.

Paterson was happy to take gambles against Bo’ness as he hopes their performance levels can be maintained.

He added: “We took a gamble by making three changes at the one time. But I said to them afterwards, I am disappointed that we are out the cup, but I’m not disappointed in the performance.

“They are a top class team and they showed that with some of their movement. It was really good at times. And as a club they were really nice too. We were in a proper game with them for around 70 minutes.

“We now need to take this back into our league form. We are still a young side and we are still learning a lot. But we have been and competed with a great team.

“They didn’t rotate any of their players on the day. Bo’ness were very complimentary towards us.”

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