FUMING Stuart Kettlewell branded referee Nick Walsh’s decision to rule out Ross Stewart’s effort for offside “a farce” as Ross County were hammered 4-1 by Celtic at Dingwall yesterday.
The Highland side’s co-manager hit out when it looked as though the striker had claimed his second goal of the afternoon in the 82nd minute when he calmly shot past Fraser Forster.
Kettlewell, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “I am not going to stand here and say it would have had any reflection on the game. It is a tough enough task as it is. However, to be getting decisions like that wrong is a farce. It is wrong.
“I have never seen an occasion when an offside is given by the referee without a linesman raising his flag to that point.
“The referee blows his whistle and a few seconds later the linesman put up his flag. That’s the wrong way round.
“We have to say we wrongly disputed the penalty. The camera angle shown to us didn’t show any clear contact. But we are honest enough to apologise to the officials for disputing a decision. It is a penalty and we accept that, but I can’t accept the last one. It could come down to goal difference, we just don’t know.”
Kettlewell missed pictures indicating the decision went against Brian Graham who had been coming back from a blatantly offside position and appeared to obstruct Hoops centre-back Christopher Jullien.
The Highlanders put in a good shift and came back to make it 1-1 after Ryan Christie had opened the scoring from an 11th-minute penalty-kick rebound following a good save from on-loan Chelsea keeper Nathan Baxter.
Stewart appeared to push Tom Rogic before heading in a left-wing free-kick for the equaliser, but former Inverness Caley Thistle star Christie restored the champions’ advantage before the interval and the Australian international playmaker and Mikey Johnston claimed two more in the second-half.