Motherwell ace Richard Tait: Referee Dallas was wrong to give Hamilton penalty for Hartley handball

Motherwell's Richard Tait smiles during a post match chat with referee Andrew Dallas (Pic by Angie Isac)
Motherwell's Richard Tait smiles during a post match chat with referee Andrew Dallas (Pic by Angie Isac)

Motherwell defender Richard Tait insists that referee Andrew Dallas was WRONG to award Hamilton Accies a penalty in ’Well’s disappointing 3-1 home Lanarkshire derby defeat on Saturday.

Dallas pointed to the spot for handball by Motherwell’s Peter Hartley after Ali Crawford’s powerful 39th minute shot at goal had struck the sliding defender’s upper arm.

Dougie Imrie then netted from 12 yards to make it 1-1 and Accies never looked back as they went on to record a convincing victory.

“We were in the driving seat and in my opinion it’s not a penalty,” said Tait (28).

“The referee’s obviously said that Peter’s hand’s in the air but if you look at anyone who does a slide tackle one hand goes in the air and has to. He gave a penalty and we’ve got to deal with that. But that’s not the reason we lost the game.

“We lost the game because we were terrible second half and we have to go away and have a good long, hard look at ourselves.”

Tait said that he and his Motherwell mates are now extra determined to put Accies to the sword upon the sides’ resumption of competitive action in a William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round cracker at Fir Park on Saturday, January 20.

The Steelmen, Accies and the other 10 Scottish Premiership clubs are currently on their winter break, after an explosive end to Saturday’s Lanarkshire derby.

With the final whistle having just been blown, a full scale brawl involving several players erupted after Motherwell defender Hartley had barged into Hamilton’s Imrie, who had been applauding the away support.

Hartley was shown a post match red card for his part in an incident which also seemed to be triggered by comments from Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson.

“I was shaking the ref’s hand,” said Tait. “I just turned around and everyone was in about each other.

“I don’t think the cup tie between us and Accies needs any extra spice after that, certainly for us.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to hit back and hit back at them because today we just didn’t turn up second half.

“It’s a hard one to take. We’ll use the break to come back with a fresh mindset and a fresh body.”

Accies’ success on Saturday was a rare one at the home of their local rivals, as they hadn’t won at Fir Park since a 4-0 success in September 2014.

And things had looked promising for ’Well again, with Craig Tanner having put them ahead within just three minutes after brilliant work by Ryan Bowman.

Saturday’s defeat to Accies leaves ’Well eighth in the table, just four points above the relegation play-off spot and without a win in nine matches.

“It’s very disappointing,” Tait added.

“Today was a massive game, we could have gone seven points clear of Accies.

“We’ve got to learn quick.

“The table can turn very quickly and it has done.

“The fact we’ve got off to such a good start has kept us reasonable.

“But that’s gone now and the form at the minute is not good form.

“I don’t think it’s gone south simply because Louis Moult hasn’t been playing.

“There’s been a few games in this period where we’ve deserved something but we haven’t got that.

“Louis’s been such a big player for us since he’s been here. He puts the ball in the back of the net.

“I think the manager’s said it before, it’s time for someone to be the main man, step up and take that opportunity.

“And I’ve no doubt that one of the boys in there will.

“The manager wants to bring someone in. He’s the boss and I’m sure he’ll spend wisely and bring in a couple of people.”