JAMES FORREST backed Craig Gordon after the Celtic keeper clashed with Alloa striker Greig Spence in the 2-0 League Cup victory last night.

The Hoops shotstopper, making his first appearance after losing his place to Dorus de Vries for four games, was booked following a reckless challenge on his opponent just outside the box.

There were cries for a red card, but Forrest, who scored the breakthrough goal seven minutes from time in a hard-fought, one-sided encounter, believed match official Alan Muir made the right decision.

He said: “I think the referee made the right call regards Craig and we just got on with it.

“We had to be patient, work hard and keep going. We could’ve scored in the first minute and after that we had plenty of chances. We’ve got through to the next round and that’s the most important thing.”

However, Spence, who spent three years at the Hoops after signing from Alloa in 2009, said: “He took me out quite aggressively, but you don’t want to see people sent off. It was a bit away from the goal but it was a bad challenge.

“It was a big moment because if he walks then they’re down to 10 men and that gives us a big chance.

“On nights like this we need those decisions going for us, but we just had to get on with it. I’m not shouting for anyone to be sent off, but I’ve got a cut on my knee. If I’d made that challenge or someone in the middle of the park had made it then it would have been a straight red.

“It’s like a different rule for goalkeepers – they get more protection.”

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers admitted: “I didn’t get a clear view of the incident. The fourth official was blocking my view, but I’ll have another look at it.”

Forrest deservedly won the Man of the Match last night. In the first half he combined well with Kieran Tierney on the left and that was where Celtic’s greatest threat came from. After the interval he moved to the right and continued to take the game to Alloa.

Rodgers seems to have got through to the winger to be more direct and use his pace to pile the pressure on defenders and the Scotland internationalist got his reward when one of those runs resulted in the late breakthrough against a very well organised Alloa side.


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