Stirling Albion manager Dave Mackay was left frustrated by the denial of what looked a clear penalty in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by leaders Montrose at Links Park.
Willie Robertson appeared to be tripped by Sean Dillon with the Binos leading 1-0 through a brilliant goal from Darren Smith but referee Grant Irvine instead booked the Stirling skipper for diving.
Mackay said: “The first half was the way we were playing in the early part of the season and we should have been two or three up. We looked a real threat and scored a great goal through Darren Smith and at the same time limited them to virtually no shots on goal.
“The huge turning point in the game was the penalty we didn’t get in the second half. Sean Dillon basically put his hands up and said it was a penalty and when I spoke to the referee he said there was contact, so I don’t know why he didn’t give it.
“Having said that, we were still 1-0 up going into the last 15 minutes and it doesn’t excuse the poor defending for the two goals. It’s a huge game now against Cowdenbeath at Forthbank on Wednesday to try and get back into the top four.”
Montrose boss Stewart Petrie said: “The penalty appeal didn’t look like a dive to me. It was a turning point but credit to my players for their spirited display.”