Referee Steven McLean saw the incident when Josh Meekings stopped a Leigh Griffiths header crossing the line with his hand. He was 12 yards away with an unobstructed view. The blame for getting the decision wrong is entirely his.
We can only speculate as to why he didn’t award a penalty. At best, McLean didn’t believe the evidence of his own eyes and passed the buck to his assistant Alan Muir, who was around 6 yards from the action but with a less-clear view.
Muir did not see Meekings clear the ball legally. If he was distracted, and failed to see what happened clearly enough, he should have informed the referee. If Muir told the referee anything else, this is also a failing.
The SFA have a case to answer. Not fit and proper, to use their parlance.
Notwithstanding the fact that if the rules of the game were followed Celtic would be in the cup final right now, they are out because they failed to deal appropriately with the known qualities of Inverness.
Three goals were lost, all of which were defensive mistakes. A break downfield which caught the defence cold, a cross from the right which was not properly contested with all defenders in position, and a failure to match a back post run (similar to a recent League Cup final goal conceded to Kilmarnock). Fatigue may have contributed to the final goal but being down to 10 men was not a contributing factor for the first two.
The game should have been won in the first half but we opened the second period off-pace.
Another matter which should be on the agenda at Lennonxtown today is why didn’t we have the right studs on?
It should be someone’s job to make a decision after the team arrives at a ground on which studs to wear. If the decision was made, the decision was wrong. If this process was not followed, it should have been. Either way there is also a case to answer internally.