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Dundee United boss Jim Goodwin was left fuming over the St Mirren penalty that he felt robbed his side of a vital cinch Premiership victory at Tannadice.

The relegation-haunted hosts took an early lead with a great goal by striker Steven Fletcher but St Mirren equalised after the break thanks to Mark O’Hara’s spot-kick.

Referee Craig Napier had awarded the penalty after St Mirren striker Curtis Main went down under a challenge from home defender Loick Ayina.

That decision was rubber-stamped by VAR but Goodwin insisted there was minimum contact.

The 41-year-old said: “We started so well and got the goal with some real quality from Steven.

“I couldn’t have been any happier at half-time but I knew there would be a reaction.

“The big frustration for me comes from the equaliser.

“The penalty is so soft and I am finding it very hard to bite my tongue, especially with the benefit of VAR. It is so soft. I have seen a couple of angles and I can’t see any contact.

“My centre-half has hardly touched the St Mirren centre forward. To lose two points to that penalty award is a bitter pill to swallow. I feel two points have been snatched away from us.

“We are down there fighting for our lives and those two points would have been massive for us.

“To lose that goal in that manner is extremely hard to take.”

Goodwin added: “The longer the VAR check goes on, the more you think they won’t give it.

“Clearly there isn’t enough contact there to make it obvious.

“I have seen two angles and I am struggling to see anything. It’s not a penalty.

“I am gutted for the players. They showed good character and we could have won it at the end.

“It’s a point on the board but I feel there should be more on it.”

While Goodwin was furious with the penalty awarded to his former club, his opposite number Stephen Robinson insisted his side deserved to take at least a point.

The 48-year-old said: “We don’t have an analyst and don’t get the opportunity to see it back.

“I was 50 yards away so it’s very difficult to comment. I know we don’t get many so I’m very, very pleased.

“It’s fine margins in football but anyone who says we didn’t deserve a point today, I’m not too sure. We deserved at least a point and should have gone on to win the game.”