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Graham Alexander thankful referee decision didn’t affect Motherwell

By August 22, 2021No Comments

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander was thankful referee Craig Napier’s intervention during Saturday’s game at Livingston did not cost his team.

The official halted play after Livingston defender Sean Kelly had been clattered by his own goalkeeper Max Stryjek.

Motherwell forward Justin Amaluzor was about to tap into an empty net when proceedings were halted, with Alexander believing Napier had been a bit hasty with his whistle.

Well went on to score a winner through Liam Grimshaw after Tony Watt had cancelled out Alan Forrest’s opener for Livingston.

Alexander said: “I was disappointed at the time. Look, player safety is really important but the referee had blown before the lad had even landed.

“It was a great opportunity for us. But I spoke to the player afterwards and he is OK. At the time I was frustrated but I can understand the referee making the decision because player safety is very important.

“I’m saying this because we won the game – it could have been different if we hadn’t. I thought the referee gave a free-kick afterwards to justify him stopping play. It wasn’t a free-kick and there was no push from our player.

“But we’re glad the player is OK because he did take a whack from the keeper. Thankfully it didn’t affect our result.”

Livingston boss David Martindale admits he may need to add to his squad before the transfer window.

The Lions looked brittle at the back and Martindale knew that was not acceptable.

He said: “Probably now I am (going to have to add to the squad) but it’s not easy.

“I can’t accept today. I don’t think defensively we were good enough. Pure and simple, we weren’t good enough and we’ve got to take our chances in the opponents’ half.

“But I’ll take this game in isolation because I do think they’ve been relatively good over the piece.

“The last three games – St Mirren, Aberdeen and Rangers – I think the back four has been very good in all three games, albeit we lost 3-0 against Rangers. Honestly, hand on heart, I can’t say that today.

“But it’s about the we, it’s the collective, I can’t just look at them, I’ve got to help them out.

“But, when it comes to set-plays and balls into our box we’ve got to do a lot better.”