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Ross County boss John Hughes left to lament St Mirren penalty call

Ross County manager John Hughes
Ross County manager John Hughes

Ross County manager John Hughes felt a poor decision from referee Greg Aitken cost them in defeat to St Mirren.

The Staggies lost 1-0 in Paisley with the game’s flashpoint coming seven minutes from time when Collin Quaner went to ground under minimal contact from Leo Hjelde.

However, whistler Aitken awarded a penalty which was converted by Jamie McGrath.

County boss Hughes disagreed with the decision and told BBC Scotland: “I get a closer look and I see it on the video and the referee has to make it (the decision) instantly and the boy dived.

“You could see that and he’s bought and I think when he looks back he’ll be disappointed he’s given it.

Jamie McGrath scores from the spot for St Mirren

“The disappointment is with what’s at stake at this time of the season and also he’s got a lineman over there to help him and they’re all miced up.

“So you’re expecting better and that decision has cost us three points today.”

The loss in Paisley leaves Ross County 10th in the Premiership, just two points above bottom-side Hamilton, who have a game in hand.

Reflecting on this afternoon’s encounter, Hughes added: “St Mirren were the far better team in the first half, from the effort and commitment we got last week against Celtic we were so far off it.

“We were hanging in there and we had to make changes to give us a little bit more upfront and give us a little bit more physicality to the team.

“I felt we had the better chances second half, but that’s just the way the season’s going.

“All credit to the boys for giving it everything they’ve got – we could have nicked it – without it being a great game.

Charlie Lakin, right, and Kyle McAllister compete for the ball

“But the first good bit of football we played we created a chance with Naisy (Jason Naismith) clipping it in and big Jordan (White) forcing a great save from the goalkeeper.

“The effort and commitment from the boys have put in is not in question and I feel for them because a soft decision – it’s never a penalty – has cost us.”

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