Charlie Richmond made a mistake awarding Hearts a penalty, that’s according to Dundee United manager Craig Levein.
Speaking after the 1-0 defeat, Levein was upset that Charlie Richmond had given Paul Hartley the chance to score from the penalty spot after wrongly judging that Stuart Duff had used an arm to control the ball inside the area.
However, Levein believes the player had no chance to get out of the way of the shot, which was going wide of the post anyway.
“I said in the dressing room afterwards, sometimes there are things you just can’t control in football,” said the United manager.
“I hesitate to be critical of Charlie Richmond, because I haven’t seen the video of the penalty incident.”
“The lads say that the ball struck Stuart Duff, rather than the other way round. He was just too close to get out of the way of it.”
“It wasn’t as if the ball was going towards the net at the time, it was going past the post. In effect the one goal split the teams.”
“I feel a little aggrieved by that, but I’d need to see it again before I comment any further.”
Dundee United were unfortunate not to take at least a point from the match, which they dominated for long spells, though comeback midfielder Paul Hartley was a difficult opponent to control in the centre of the park.
Craig Conway missed an easy chance infront of an open net, Barry Robson hit the crossbar from a freekick, Christophe Berra cleared off the Hearts goal-line and replacement keeper Steven Banks had some great saves to keep United out.
All in all, United should be celebrating 5-in-a-row against Hearts, but the 1-0 defeat put an end to Levein’s unbeaten home record and with Hibernian winning it means United are now 6 points away from a top 6 spot.
United place Celtic on Boxing Day and are unlikely to take anything away from Parkhead, a ground United haven’t won on since the 1992/93 season.