Scott McDonald: 'It's not diving when there is contact,' says Motherwell striker

Motherwell striker Scott McDonald pleads his case to referee Kevin Clancy
McDonald pleads his case to referee Kevin Clancy

Motherwell striker Scott McDonald insists he did not dive in a bid to deceive officials at the weekend.

The 33-year-old was booked after going to ground during Saturday's 1-0 victory at local rivals Hamilton.

"People that dive are cheats," the Australian told BBC Scotland. "It's not diving when there is contact.

"I wouldn't go down if there wasn't contact, that's just not in my nature. If I dived and there was no contact, I'd be ashamed."

McDonald was cautioned by referee Kevin Clancy as he made his way towards the opposition penalty box.

"He blew up straight away and gave a foul for simulation," said McDonald.

"I can't repeat what I said. I wasn't best pleased.

"You can see my reaction is 'what the hell went on there'. You can tell by a player's reaction if they have dived or if they haven't.

"If you see how I react, it's not in a nice way because it was definitely a free kick.

"But there were words and incidents previous to that with the referee and I think that had an influence on it.

"I was one booking away from a ban, so I'll be suspended at some point. In terms of that logic, I'm not looking to dive because I know I'm in trouble."

Scott McDonald celebrates with match-winner Louis Moult (left)
McDonald celebrates with match-winner Louis Moult (left)

On the wider issue of what constitutes simulation, the former Celtic and Middlesbrough striker added: "I'm not dragging my leg out, trying to make contact.

"Contact has to be made on my movement or if I'm trying to get out of the way.

"It's not even a decision. You've got a split second.

"There will be occasions when you know you won't get the ball on the other side so, if there is contact, you are well within your rights in the laws of the game.

"If there's contact and there's obstruction, it's a foul.

"You ask any footballer and they've done it once, twice, three times in their career - had contact in a tight situation and went down.

"How many times do you see full-backs in corner areas stick their backsides out and fall over on top of the ball. It's still a free kick because he's protecting the ball and there is contact."

The victory at Accies lifted Motherwell three points above their Lanarkshire neighbours in the struggle to avoid the relegation play-off.

Two rounds of Premiership games remain, with the Steelmen at home to Kilmarnock on Tuesday, while Hamilton visit Ross County.

"It's all to play for," said McDonald. "Obviously we enjoyed the win but there was no over-celebrating. We have a job to do and it might go to the last day.

"Hopefully we can build on Saturday's result. We've not had back-to-back wins [in the league] all season."

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