Motherwell ace Ryan Bowman admits that he’s never played in as ‘mental’ a match as the 4-1 defeat at St Johnstone last Saturday.
Despite being in the ascendancy for long spells, the Steelmen crashed to a heavy loss after having goalkeeper Trevor Carson, skipper Carl McHugh and defender Charles Dunne all sent off.
Controversy surrounded the Carson and Dunne dismissals (see match report inside) and Bowman revealed that the Motherwell party were fuming with the performances of referee Craig Thomson and his assistants.
“I’ve never seen anything like that or played in a game like it,” said the 25-year-old former Gateshead forward.
“I couldn’t believe it. I think if we’d had one more sent off there would have been an abandonment. Everyone was shocked.
“Obviously you’re going to be angry and disappointed at the referee. He’s killed the game with the sendings off, rightly or wrongly.
“But, as the manager says, you’ve got to be proud of the performance we put in.
“They’re a top four side for the past three or four seasons and we’ve been dominating.
“So we’ve got to keep our heads held high and go again on Saturday.
“I definitely think we would have won that game if we’d kept 11 men on the park.
“Even their fans would say the same thing.
“We had more chances, they had two chances that led to goals.
“But as the game went on we were looking the fitter, better players.”
Bowman was remaining upbeat despite the defeat, saying that Motherwell’s overall dominance was such that he’d overheard two St Johnstone defenders saying to each other: ‘We’re at home yet we’re getting battered here’.
The Geordie forward added: “Our individual performances were on it, especially after playing 120 minutes against Ross County (in the 3-2 Betfred Cup away win) three nights ago.”
And it’s the Dingwall team Motherwell face on league duty at Fir Park this Saturday.
“It’s a massive match,” Bowman said.
“If we play as we did against Rangers and Ross County and for the majority of this game I think we’ve got no worries.
“We shouldn’t have any problems.”