David Martindale goes to the top with frustrations about refereeing decisions

The Livingston boss was livid on Sunday at decisions in the match against Hearts.

By Press Association Published: 6 December 2021 - 5.37pm

Frustrated Davie Martindale revealed he emailed Scottish referees chief Crawford Allan last week to highlight his concern at some of the decisions he feels are going against Livingston.

The Lions boss is becoming exasperated at the lack of exposure some incidents involving his team are getting, so has taken it upon himself to contact Allan directly.

Martindale was particularly irked by a couple of big calls in his side’s 2-0 defeat at Aberdeen last Wednesday.

Speaking on Monday at his media briefing ahead of Wednesday’s home match against Hibernian, he said: “I sent Crawford an email about the Aberdeen game, showing him the footage from the game.

“Crawford was on holiday but (deputy head of refereeing) 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.”

Martindale then let rip at the officials on Sunday after he felt a dodgy offside call cost his side the chance of a late equaliser against Hearts.

He reiterated his frustration on Monday, explaining that he feels his side are getting a raw deal when it comes to key decisions.

Martindale said: “I’m still upset and still frustrated after the Hearts game. I think it’s just an accumulation of decisions. Every point’s a prisoner and game-changing moments are going against us.

“It happened to us on Wednesday night and I think I was probably aggravated and frustrated that the Kyogo incident (his dubious goal for Celtic against Hearts on Thursday) was all over the media. I don’t mean anything bad against the media or against Celtic or Hearts but a blatant offside goal against Livingston just gets brushed under the carpet and nobody talks about it.

“Then you fall into Sunday’s game where your striker has a great chance of getting a shot off at goal in the last minute of the game and the linesman flags for offside when he’s looking along the same line as everybody else.

“I just feel as a smaller club, you don’t get the big decisions going your way. It seems to be every time a Livingston player tackles, it’s a yellow card but when there’s a role reversal, it’s a talking to or it just gets played on.

“I’m not blaming officials but we need to get better at what we do because there’s a lot at stake. The sooner we get VAR the better. We need that to help the officials.”

Livingston have not won any of their last six matches as they prepare to face a Hibs side who have won only one of their last eight league games. Martindale is not reading anything into the recent form of either team.

Martindale said: “Is recent form for either team going to make any difference in this game? I don’t think it is. Momentum helps slightly when you’re on a good run, but not many teams in the Premiership can get on these runs because they’ve not got the budgets.

“Rangers, Celtic, maybe Hearts and Aberdeen, and potentially Hibs at points, can go on half-decent runs but the rest of us are all losing, drawing, winning, losing. You can look into form slightly but you’re only 90 minutes away from form potentially changing.”

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