Pressley bemoans ref punishment

Bairns defender Brian McLean was judged by whistler Dougie McDonald to have brought down Mickael Antoine-Curier to give away a second-half penalty - only a week after he had conceded a controversial spot-kick for handball in the 2-1 defeat to St Johnstone.

That award brought stinging criticism of SPL officials from Pressley, who claimed that his side were an easy target for referees.

And the former Scotland defender - who insisted the official had been right not to award penalties to both sides for handballs - again hit out as McDonald's judgment allowed Simon Mensing to put Accies 2-1 ahead.

Insisting there had been no contact with Antoine-Curier, Pressley said: "When you come away from home and get a draw, it's a decent result but we certainly came here to win the game, there's no doubt about that.

"Over the piece I thought we had the better opportunities to win the game but both managers will be satisfied in terms of the application and desire of their players.

"There's no doubt there was two fully committed teams out there.

"But, again, we've been punished by a penalty decision. There were three penalty claims in the game and I thought he got two of them correct.

"Both handballs were ball to hand, rather than hand to ball but, according to Brian McLean and at the time, I didn't think there wasn't any contact.

"The two handball decisions were almost identical to the one that was given against us last week."

Falkirk now find themselves three points adrift of second-bottom St Mirren and Pressley, whose side now face a crucial clash with St Johnstone on Tuesday, was delighted with his players' response to going 2-1 down to quick second-half strikes from Antoine-Curier and Mensing.

He added: "It was very important we got back into the game right away but I've never had any complaints. The application and desire of these players is never in question.

"But I think they are being punished just now by some refereeing decisions and it's making life harder for us.

"We're certainly digging in. Again we came back and again we applied ourselves."

Hamilton manager Billy Reid had "no complaints" about McDonald's display and was thrilled to see his team leapfrog Kilmarnock into ninth spot, especially after watching them fail to make the most of their domination in the first half.

He said: "I couldn't believe we came in 1-0 down at half-time. For the first 25 minutes we were excellent again and we should have scored.

"There were two or three good saves from their goalkeeper but some of our football was excellent and then we found ourselves a goal down.

"But the character and effort we've got in the team is evident. We went 2-1 up and I thought we were going to go on and win the game.

"But credit to Falkirk for coming back and the two teams have got to take credit for an exciting game."

Accies would have moved nine points clear of Falkirk had they held on to their lead but Reid, whose side now face Kilmarnock on Wednesday, insisted even such a lead would not be in surmountable in the relegation battle.

He added: "Everybody was saying that if we had won we would be safe but I didn't see it like that.

"I'm trying to take the positive out of it and the positive is we go above Kilmarnock and that's a big, big plus for us."

Source: Team Talk