Ross County 0-1 Dundee: Stuart Kettlewell frustrated by penalty decision

Ross County's Michael Gardyne argues with referee Andrew Dallas after being shown a yellow card for simulation
Michael Gardyne was booked for simulation after going down in the Dundee box

Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell was left exasperated by Andrew Dallas's decision not to award his side a late penalty against Dundee.

Dallas booked Michael Gardyne for diving after the Staggies man went down under the challenge of Faissal El Bakhtaoui in the 86th minute.

The 1-0 defeat consigned County to a bottom-two Premiership finish and they face at least a play-off to stay up.

"We all knew there was contact at the time," Kettlewell told BBC Scotland.

"Having reviewed the footage, we can see there's contact. It should be a penalty and yet again it's another decision we've not had.

"I'm probably a broken record, but there are people's jobs at stake here - we must get these decisions right."

'It's very, very difficult to take'

Kettlewell, together with Steven Ferguson, took joint-charge of the Staggies in early March.

Simon Murray's 51st-minute header decided Tuesday's Dingwall tussle and left the Staggies two points adrift at the foot of the table with one round of fixtures remaining.

"We've had a similar incident a couple of weeks ago where it goes unpunished, it should be a red card," Kettlewell said, referencing the yellow card shown to Hamilton Academical's Darian MacKinnon for a high boot during their 2-0 win over County.

"But nobody seems to take responsibility or accountability for these actions.

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Highlights: Ross County 0-1 Dundee

"We know that human error can occur and sometimes you can accept that, but it's very, very difficult to take when you're in the position we're in.

"We take responsibility for not winning the game. We look back on it, try and make it better.

"But it could've had a huge bearing on the game, we could've got level and then you're hoping momentum comes into play and we maybe kick on and try and win the game.

"It wasn't to be - and yet another decision we just have to try and accept."

'We're asking for favours now'

Each of the bottom three Premiership teams suffered home defeats on Tuesday, with 10th-placed Accies beaten by St Johnstone and second-bottom Partick Thistle losing to Motherwell.

The Staggies, whose goal difference is nine poorer than Thistle's, must beat Saints in Perth in their final league fixture and hope the Firhill outfit go down to Dundee to avoid automatic relegation.

County would then face a two-legged play-off against either Dundee United or Livingston of the Championship.

Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell in the Ross County technical area
Ferguson and Kettlewell have failed to guide County to safety

"We felt results went in our favour tonight and it's a major opportunity missed," Kettlewell admitted.

"It's a huge blow, but it's our job to pick the players up and make sure we show that endeavour and professionalism to beat St Johnstone, which will be a difficult task.

"We're asking for favours now, we're looking for results elsewhere, but that's the position we've left ourselves in and we just have to deal with that."

'We were well worth our three points'

Dundee manager Neil McCann was pleased with the victory that guaranteed their top-flight status, Simon Murray's 51st-minute header securing all three points.

"We could've won more handsomely, I felt, had we shown more composure," he said. "We knew the need for Ross County to push, take more risks and that's what happened.

"We caught them on the break a number of times; we just didn't take advantage of it.

"We defended really well, although they were putting us under a lot of pressure.

"David Ngog had a chance, there was the suggestion of a penalty, but over the piece, we were well worth our three points.

Neil McCann
Neil McCann's Dundee can no longer be relegated from the Premiership

"I'm really proud of the players because it's not a nice position to be in. It was still alive tonight, although it'd have taken a massive goal swing and results to put us in the play-off position, but we had to take care of our own business.

"I wanted five [post-split] wins - we've got three out of four and we'll go into Saturday's game to try and make it four out of five."

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