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Malky Mackay bemoans lack of parity in key penalty decisions in Ross County’s defeat to Dundee United

Ross County boss Malky Mackay.
Ross County boss Malky Mackay.

Malky Mackay was frustrated at the lack of parity applied by referee David Munro in two crucial penalty decisions in the 2-1 loss to Dundee United.

County had led through Regan Charles-Cook, before United levelled through Nicky Clark’s spot-kick which followed a handball award against Declan Drysdale.

Clark went on to score the winner for United with a header in stoppage time.

Mackay felt the award of United’s penalty was inconsistent with a decision not to penalise Dylan Levitt for a handball incident in the first half.

Nicky Clark celebrates netting a penalty for Dundee United.

He said: “Somebody has sent me the picture of a stonewall penalty we should have had in the first half when the boy’s arm was out. I don’t really understand that one – if they are going to do the same for both then that one is clear.

“If we are going by ball to hand rather than hand to ball, Declan’s hand is not up, it’s down by his body.

“I just think if you don’t do one, you don’t do the other. The crowd are going to shout for it but I’m just looking for a bit of parity on that one.

“I’m disappointed with that.

“The first half was a fairly sticky affair for both teams with not many chances for both teams. In the second half we changed it a little bit and stepped on to the game with two or three great chances.

“We looked as though we were on the ascendancy but after they scored the penalty, it gave them a little bit of momentum and they got the cross in and scored from it. I’m disappointed we lost the game.”

Regan Charles-Cook celebrates scoring against Dundee United with Jake Vokins.

County have a difficult task in their efforts to bounce back from the defeat when they host champions Rangers on Saturday.

Mackay is confident his players can put the late setback behind them.

He added: “Coming out of Tannadice on a Wednesday night as Ross County being gutted we lost, there’s certainly a sea change in terms of that.

“We are a group of players, staff and a club that was coming down looking to win the game.

“There is confidence that we are in every game we play. We’ve just got to keep the momentum going.

“There have been times before when we have not had the rub of the green but played OK, so we just need to get back to that again. It’s up to us to get ourselves dusted down and get recovered and ready for the weekend.”

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