Staggies forward Schalk left pondering what could have been after penalty snub

Ross County forward Alex Schalk.

Ross County forward Alex Schalk was left wondering what could have been after being convinced he should have won a penalty in Saturday’s 1-1 Premiership draw against Caley Thistle.

Dutchman Schalk salvaged a point for the Staggies with an 86th-minute equaliser which cancelled out Greg Tansey’s deflected opener, with the result maintaining County’s four-point gap above their Highland rivals.

Schalk was adamant referee Crawford Allan should have pointed to the spot shortly before half-time, with the attacker claiming to have been felled by Caley Jags defender David Raven inside the penalty box when the match was still goalless.

Schalk reckons the Staggies would have gone on to win had they taken the lead.

He said: “In the first half I should have got a stonewall penalty. For me, it’s clear, it’s 100% a penalty.

“Like I said in the last couple of weeks it was going against us and now it has again. It keeps going against us. It certainly feels that way for me.

“If we got the penalty we would trust Liam Boyce to put that away any day. If we go 1-0 up in a big game like this, Inverness probably don’t have the quality to recover from that.

“He was just ready to hook the ball away and I nicked it in front of him. He just came through the back of me. It was a stonewaller.”

County remain six points behind sixth-placed Partick Thistle and, although Schalk is not giving up hope of a top-half finish, the 24-year-old is primarily focused on steering County away from the relegation zone.

Schalk said: “It was a rescue but obviously we would have been much happier if we had gone away with three points.

“If you concede a goal early in the second half it’s just about keeping digging and at least get one goal and get away with a point.

“If they had got the win they would have been a point beneath us. We’re all in a relegation tussle now – the bottom six or seven teams. We did well to get the goal and keep them four points behind us.

“We’ve still got the chance to win our next couple of games and maybe secure a top-six place. The team that finishes sixth will be free from relegation.

“They got the first goal so it’s a better result for us, but I’m more disappointed than happy to get away with a point.”