St Andrews United: Manager Robbie Raeside blasts decision to disallow Saints 'goal' for offside in cruel 2-1 Scottish Cup defeat at Albion Rovers

St Andrews United gaffer Robbie Raeside has blasted the linesman’s decision to controversially flag for offside and deny a Jordan Mackenzie ‘goal’ which would have brought it back to 2-2 late on in Saturday’s away Scottish Cup second round tie against Albion Rovers.
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East of Scotland League first division underdogs United – making their first ever appearance at this stage of the tournament – had earlier gone behind to Niyah Joseph’s 66th-minute strike for their Scottish Lowland Football League hosts, before levelling through substitute Lewis Sawers.

Although Alex McCaw put Sandy Clark’s side ahead again, Rovers then had Alan Reid red carded for a foul and Saints enjoyed late pressure which culminated in Mackenzie’s strike being chalked off and Raeside being yellow carded for his protests against that decision.

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“Listen, we all mistakes but the linesman’s flag went up very early,” Raeside told the Herald and Citizen. “To me I had clearly seen Jordan had run from in behind the defender, he’d made a great run from deep.

Albion Rovers ace Alex McCaw celebrates after breaking St Andrews United hearts by scoring what turned out to be winner (Pic Phil Dawson)Albion Rovers ace Alex McCaw celebrates after breaking St Andrews United hearts by scoring what turned out to be winner (Pic Phil Dawson)
Albion Rovers ace Alex McCaw celebrates after breaking St Andrews United hearts by scoring what turned out to be winner (Pic Phil Dawson)

"You could see clearly from video stills and clips that he was onside. The only disappointing thing for me at the weekend is that goal not being allowed to stand.

"Myself and Garry (assistant manager Garry Wright) were really pleased with the performance on Saturday. The players did everything we asked of them, they left everything out there and couldn’t have done anything more.

"To go there with so many injuries, put on a show and only go out to what has been proved to be an incorrect officials’ decision, was admirable.

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"They were hanging on. It was 11 v 11 when we equalised and they were down to 10 men so if we had scored that second goal to make it all square then the game was there for the taking.

"We were dominating and we’d hit the crossbar with a free-kick as well.

"We got our game plan perfect because we contained Albion Rovers but also offered a real threat going forward.

"We need to move on and not dwell on this defeat, that’s football.”

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Saints, fourth in the league with 21 points from 10 games, continue their second division campaign at home to Preston Athletic this Saturday with kick-off at 2.30pm.

Raeside is hoping the confidence gained from their Scottish Cup run – Saints beat Haddington Athletic and Auchinleck Talbot in previous rounds – can be a springboard for positive league results.

He added: “The main thing is that it’s been a great run in the competition.

"We had no right to even get to where we did and we could easily have beaten Albion Rovers on the day.

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"We were fantastic on Saturday and the players did themselves and the club proud. I never had one bit of criticism for them when I spoke to them in the dressing room afterwards.

"Some of my boys had been playing amateur football for the last six years. One of them – Carter Kelly – was playing his first competitive game in six months.

"You've got to put things in perspective.

"Lewis Sawers came on, was a threat again and he did great with another fine finish.

"He has been struggling with a hamstring injury the last couple of weeks which is not an easy thing to cope with when your game’s about pace.

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"He came through that game and he’s available for Saturday. It’s going to be another tough game and we need to be at it every game.

“In the 18 months I’ve been in charge, they have been at it in most games.”

Raeside finished by thanking all the Saints supporters who travelled to the Albion Rovers game.

He said they and any other members of the public are welcome to attend a fund-raising race night at the social club tomorrow (Saturday), 7pm for a 7.30pm start with entry free.

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