Ross County assistant manager Billy Dodds reckons Scottish football is crying out for better communication between referees and managers.
The Staggies’ 2-1 Scottish Cup defeat at St Johnstone on Saturday included a controversial decision by whistler John Beaton which led to the game’s opening goal.
Saints defender Steven Anderson was in an offside position when he attempted to deflect Michael O’Halloran’s shot past Ross County goalkeeper Mark Brown.
The defender did not make contact with the ball on its way into the net and Beaton overruled his assistant David Watt, who had flagged for offside, by awarding the goal.
The Staggies were furious the goal stood, but Dodds was pleased referee Beaton was quick to offer an explanation to the County management team and reckons more referees would benefit from following his example.
He said: “John Beaton was great. He spoke to us at half-time and we were pretty calm with him.
“He explained that he felt Steven Anderson had not interfered with play and wasn’t in the line of the goalkeeper.
“I would agree he wasn’t in the line of the goalkeeper, but he tried to kick the ball so if that wasn’t interfering with play then I don’t know what is.
“We were pretty unhappy with that, but the one thing I would compliment the referee on was he didn’t shirk the issue.
“He waited for us, spoke to us about the incident and gave his opinion.
“If a referee doesn’t want to speak then there is every chance that players and managers are going to overreact when something goes against their team.
“However, if they speak to the officials properly then although they may not like the decision, they tend to accept it a bit better.”
Beaton again drew praise for playing advantage in the build-up to Ross County’s goal when Liam Boyce had been on the wrong end of a crude challenge from Saints midfielder Lee Croft.
The 29-year-old has since accepted a two-match ban which was offered by the Scottish FA for the tackle, which was deemed “serious foul play”.
Dodds added: “The referee didn’t go back and book Croft – I wasn’t sure about that one.
“It wasn’t a great tackle and his foot was raised.
“We have seen a few challenges like that in recent weeks with Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller for Rangers against Hearts and the Morgaro Gomis tackle on Celtic’s Scott Brown on Sunday in the Scottish Cup match at Tynecastle.
“The cliche is players can’t challenge like that in modern-day football. A player who raises his feet like that runs the risk of being punished.”