Martindale: Smaller clubs don’t get decisions their way

The Livingston boss is bemused by refereeing calls going against his team.

Martindale: Smaller clubs don’t get decisions their way Roddy Scott via SNS Group
Martindale has become frustrated by controversial calls.

Livingston boss David Martindale has bemoaned the refereeing decisions that have gone against his side recently, claiming that smaller teams just don’t get big decisions in their favour.

Martindale was unhappy with a series of decisions in last week’s loss to Aberdeen and his unhappiness was compounded by a late offside call in the 1-0 defeat to Hearts when Bruce Anderson raced throguh on goal in the final moments of the game with Livingston chasing a draw.

He said: “You’re coming off the back of Wednesday night where, I’m not saying we deserved anything out of the game but, there was two controversial decisions that went against us that potentially lost us points. Then you come into the game last night…

“I just feel sometimes like at the smaller clubs, you don’t get the decisions going your way.

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“It seems to be that every time a Livingston player tackles it’s a yellow card but there’s a role reversal elsewhere or it just gets played on.

“I don’t want to start speaking about individual players and challenges.

“It was just highly charged at that point and then at the last minute, for the flag to go up when everyone knew he was offside, that probably tipped me over the edge, to be honest.”

Martindale was at pains to say that he knew referees didn’t want to make wrong decisions, but said that for his side “every point’s a prisoner” at the bottom end of the Premiership tabel and that game-changing decisions were regularly going against his team.

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He revealed that he had contacted Scottish FA head of refereeing operations Crawford Allan to voice his frustration.

He said: “I sent Crawford an email about the Aberdeen game, showing him the footage from the game.”Crawford was on holiday but (Allan’d deputy) Tom Murphy got back to me and said he had spoken to the officials and they had taken it on board, and he asked if I wanted a phone call to explain it all.

“I would rather just highlight it higher up the food chain so it filters down to the referees, linesmen and fourth officials because it’s the only way it’s going to get better.”

The Livi boss has seen his team lose their last three games and haven’t won since October.

He said that he felt form might turn around now that his selections were more settled as players became available.

“It’s there,” he said. “We’ve now got the continuity in the squad.

“If I can keep the same boys on the park, albeit I’ll be tweaking it for the amount of games coming up and that we’ve played, if we can keep a consistent 14 or 15 players around the first team and playing then it’s going to lead to a better performance on the park.

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“It’s the worst season I’ve had as a coach from the injury point of view and some big injuries and issues.

“I feel we’re now getting back to some kind of stability within the squad.”