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Inverness boss Billy Dodds promised to call referee head Crawford Allan after claiming Kevin Clancy gave Motherwell a helping hand with his performance in their 4-0 Premier Sports Cup win on Wednesday night.

Dodds was fuming with referee Clancy’s handling of the last-16 tie at Fir Park and particularly the award of a second penalty against the Championship side at 3-0 when he judged Kevin van Veen’s attempted pass had hit the hand of David Carson, after it looked like the Dutchman had committed a foul beforehand.

Van Veen scored from the spot for his hat-trick with the luckless Danny Devine having scored an earlier own goal but, while Dodds admitted the Steelmen were worthy of the win, he felt compelled to speak to Allan, head of referee operations for the Scottish Football Association, for only the second time.

He said: “I know all managers go on at referees but, since I have been in this job, I’ve phoned Crawford Allan once because I don’t like doing it. I think you can all guess what game that was for (Premiership play-off semi-final win on penalties over Arbroath after Willie Collum sent off two Caley players). I’ve got to phone him now.

“I’ve seen Kevin Clancy refereeing Old Firm games. It’s like your players, if they don’t perform, they don’t deserve to be in the team.

“From the first free-kick of the game to the penalties and some of the decisions he gave; there was one where the boy handled it and scooped it, and Euan Anderson (fourth official) told him it was a handball and he just ignored it.

“I can’t look at that and say, ‘ah well, I’ll stay calm and there’s no problem’.

“I’m taking nothing away from Motherwell because they were good. They deserved to win the tie but I think the referee gave them a helping hand.

“There’s a lot of them (managers) that phone Crawford all the time and I don’t because it’s a hard job and I appreciate that.

“But sometimes you have to because you feel it’s not been fair on you. I said that to Euan Anderson at the side and he’s saying he understands.

“It sounds crazy because we’ve got beat 4-0 and it sounds like it’s sour grapes but it’s not, because I don’t usually do it.

“I think I had a right to phone the last time and I think I’ve got a right to phone this time.

“If you stand back and say it’s another refereeing performance and just get on with it – I’m not so sure. Motherwell played well but they don’t need that.

“I’ll tell the referee what I think man to man and I’ve hardly been in to see any of them. I’ve been in to see two referees since I’ve been here and I don’t shout at them.

“This time I’m watching it and saying ‘I can’t believe what you’re thinking’. But you get a ‘no bother’ and they just walk past you.”