Houston bemoans ruled-out goal

PA Sport
Peter Houston, pictured, rued a Rudi Skacel goal disallowed for offside
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Peter Houston, pictured, rued a Rudi Skacel goal disallowed for offside

Peter Houston was left frustrated after seeing his Dundee United side denied a point by a poor refereeing decision as they were beaten 2-1 by Hibernian.

Hibs ended United's streak of four consecutive Clydesdale Bank Premier League games without defeat. The visitors trailed to goals from Leigh Griffiths and Eoin Doyle, but Gary-Mackay Steven pulled one back and a grandstand, winner-takes-all, finish was denied by an error by the linesman in ruling out a second half Rudi Skacel header.

"Television cameras prove that Skacel's 'goal' was onside," said Houston, "but yet again we're left here talking about a decision poorly made by the official. The linesman should be able to see that."

He added: "It's different if the ball ricochets here, there and everywhere, but it's just a ball into the box and he's not recognised the fact that Skacel is level. If I go and ask the official it's not going to change anything, but they need to realise that they've made an error."

However, Houston was aware his side had given themselves too much of an uphill climb after a lifeless display in the first 45 minutes.

"We put a lot into the second half with regards to our effort, our performance and work rate." Houston said. "So I had to ask the question of the players again: why didn't they do that in the first half? It's a bit of a setback given our recent form, but if we continue to play like we did in the second half then we'll do all right."

Hibs manager Pat Fenlon refused to be drawn into any criticism of Skacel. The former Hearts player was the centre of attention after his introduction on to the pitch and the Hibs fans did not take too kindly to some later gesturing from the Czech attacker.

"We said to them to not get involved in anything." Fenlon said "It's about playing football matches and winning games. The best answer for anybody is to go and win the game."

The match represented an incredible turnaround for this Hibs team since it is the first time they've played United since being badly beaten 3-0 on the opening day of the season.

"I certainly didn't think after Tannadice that we'd be sitting here, today, top of the league." Fenlon said. "That is great credit to the players. They knew they didn't work hard that day, but they've rolled their sleeves up and worked hard to get better. I thought it was a complete performance today.

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