St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson devasted to lose after ‘best display of season’

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Stephen Robinson was devastated to see St Mirren leave Tynecastle with a 1-0 defeat to Hearts after what he felt was his team’s best performance of the season.

The Buddies boss was particularly frustrated that referee David Munro was not invited by VAR to take a look at an 86th-minute incident in which Jambos defender Kye Rowles handled the ball in his own box.

The result means St Mirren have taken just one point from their two matches against third-place Hearts over the past week despite more than holding their own across the 180 minutes.

“I’ve been told it was a penalty and it was similar to other penalties that have been given recently,” said Robinson.

“All we want is a bit of clarity. It’s not the referees’ fault. There are all these people sitting watching (on VAR), but they are not calling the referee over.

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“When you look at some of the penalties give, it’s incredible. I think the ruling is wrong, so it’s not just about my team.

“I have no idea what’s going on. It’s soul-destroying at times because you don’t know what they will and won’t look at.

“All the managers feel the same.

“We deserved the minimum of a point. It was our best 90 minutes of the season.

“To play two games against a team of that calibre and only take one point is devastating for me, because the boys deserved more.

“We’re down to the bare bones and bringing on 17-year-olds, yet we are matching if not bettering them.

“It’s hard to take.”

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson – who was sent to the stand in the 78th minute – was delighted to eke out a victory that took his team six points clear in third place.

Barrie McKay scored the only goal of the game in the 29th minute when he fired home a superb finish from the edge of the box.

“When you play teams back to back, it is always difficult because you kind of negate each other,” he said.

“But I thought we played well in the first half, we passed the ball really well. In the second half we were flat.

“You hope when you score the first goal they open up but St Mirren remained compact, they were hard to break down and were always a danger at set-plays, so to see out the game with a clean sheet and get the three points was great.”

Neilson, who had been booked earlier in the game, was sent to the stand after protesting towards referee Munro when he waved away appeals for a Jambos free-kick.

“There’s nothing you can do about it,” he said of his dismissal. “You’re dealing with referees and some are good and some are bad.

“I have just spoken to him in there and I still don’t know the reason for it, to be honest with you.

“Some referees you can talk to, some you can have a bit of rapport with. Some have got personality and can talk and understand it.

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“And then there’s others who don’t have any of that. Unfortunately for me I think it was the latter this evening.

“The fourth official was brilliant, he was really good. But I don’t want to detract from the performance with the referee’s decision. It’s part of football. I’ll take it on the chin. I’ll know the next time we have him I’ll need to start in the stand!”

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