FORMER Sevco Rangers manager and player Ally McCoist reckoned Celtic escaped a penalty claim in their 1-0 win over Partick Thistle last night.

The man who took a £700k salary from a Scottish Third Division side was convinced the six-in-a-row champions should have been punished when Nir Bitton clashed with Miles Storey in stoppage time.

The Jags substitute collapsed in a heap, but referee Andrew Dallas wasn’t impressed and waved play on amid the home team’s protests.

McCoist, who was at Firhill in his role as a new BT Sports pundit, said: “It’s a stonewall penalty-kick – no doubt about it.

“I think Nir Bitton makes two mistakes. One, he should leave it for goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

“Two, he should clear it. If he has any doubts at all, if he’s going to take it away from the keeper, he should just empty it and put it in the stand.

“His left leg caught Miles Storey and it looked like a penalty-kick all night.”

It was certainly a talking point with one Celtic supporter at the game, recalling the decisions that went against Celtic last season – the dives at Hearts and Ross County and the denial of a stonewaller against Sevco Rangers, that the Bitton decision was the first one that Brendan Rodgers has had from Scottish refereees.

He’s due a few more until things even themselves out. 

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