Hammell frustrated by penalty call as Motherwell slump to Saints loss

St Mirren were 1-0 winners in the Premiership clash in Paisley.

Steven Hammell frustrated by penalty call as Motherwell slump to Saints loss SNS Group

Motherwell manager Steven Hammell was left baffled over why referee John Beaton was not asked to review a penalty claim for his side during their 1-0 defeat by St Mirren in Paisley.

Ricki Lamie was left on the ground after Charles Dunne wrapped his arms around the Motherwell defender’s neck but video assistant Grant Irvine did not believe the incident was worthy of a second look from Beaton despite a delay for a check.

Only goal difference now keeps Motherwell off the bottom of the cinch Premiership after Curtis Main’s 16th-minute goal earned Saints victory.

Hammell, who lost recent signing Mikael Mandron to injury in training on Friday, said: “We knew we’d be in for a physical battle and that if they got their noses in front they’d time-waste and put the ball into the corners but the goal we conceded just wasn’t good enough.

“There weren’t many chances but we created enough of them to take something from it but didn’t score, which is the story of our season.

“We should also have had a penalty – that’s quite clear. However, for them to not even ask the referee to have a look at it is really frustrating.

“You’re asking the question and getting no feedback at all. Our analysts told me it was a strong penalty claim and I’ve now seen it and I agree, especially when you’ve seen what’s already been given this season.

“We were pretty much told at meetings that the referee would be the man who would have the final say in these decisions and that anything that was close to contentious would be looked at.

“I haven’t once questioned a referee’s decision since I’ve been here but I was looking for an explanation today and I got no information at all.”

St Mirren extended their unbeaten home run to 12 games and moved into the top six but manager Stephen Robinson was left with fitness concerns over goalkeeper Trevor Carson and forward Jonah Ayunga.

Carson will have an X-ray on a hand injury on Monday and Ayunga hobbled off with a knee injury following a challenge not long after coming off the bench.

Ayunga’s injury came days after St Mirren, who recently reported a £1.6million annual loss, allowed forwards Eamonn Brophy and Toyosi Olusanya to leave on loan deals.

“We can only pray those boys are okay, otherwise I will be asking the board for help,” Robinson said.

“We run with a really small squad and if we are going to push on, we can only hope they aren’t out for a long time.

“But at the moment it’s a real worry. They are two influential players for me.

“I’ve said already that letting Brophy go wasn’t my choice. We just couldn’t afford to have boys not playing on that level of finance.

“There is no doubt Eamonn is a very good player but that is now the fourth we have let go – and not brought anyone in.

“You need a little bit of luck if you have a small squad as injuries and suspensions can catch up with you, so let’s hope we get good news.”

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