BBC Sportscene pundits James McFadden and Steven Naismith were left baffled by referee Don Robertson as Rangers beat Kilmarnock 1-0 at Ibrox on Saturday.
Ryan Jack rightly stole all the headlines with a sublime goal to win the three points for the runaway Premiership leaders but the Gers will be aggrieved they didn’t have a penalty to help ease to a result more comfortably.
In the first half, James Tavernier was bundled down in the penalty area by Kilmarnock’s Rory McKenzie.
According to McFadden, it was a clear penalty.
Speaking on BBC Sportscene on Saturday night, he said: “Yeah, no wonder [Tav was talking the referee about it.
“I think Tavernier’s just about to step onto it and Rory McKenzie comes through the back.
“We keep talking about how much contact there is but for me, there’s enough to put James Tavernier off. He’s not going for the ball.”
Hearts’ former Rangers ace Naismith echoed McFadden’s thoughts by adding that McKenzie found himself in a compromised position which left him no choice but to foul Tavernier.
He said: “I’m the same. I think McKenzie understands he’s in the wrong position at the end when the ball comes across. He’s trying to be cute and put enough pressure on from behind but, at the end of the day, it’s a penalty.”
McKenzie’s foul on Tavernier wasn’t the only controversy in the game as in the second half, Kilmarnock were denied what they thought should have been a penalty.
Replays clearly show that Leon Balogun brought down Danny Whiteball outside of the penalty area but it should have been a free-kick for the away side.
McFadden couldn’t get his head around Robertson’s decision.
The ex-Scotland international said: “And this one, again, it’s a bizarre decision from the referee.
“The debate will initially be, ‘was it inside the box? Was it outside the box?’. It was outside the box but there are two hands on his back and his feet are tripped.
“It’s a foul and the referee’s missed it.
“It’s a bizarre decision because, as I said, we’re looking at it saying, ‘is that inside or outside?’, because it is a foul.”
No Stewart? No bias
It was nice to not see Michael Stewart blowing off hot air about Rangers on BBC Sportscene on Saturday night because there’s no doubt the bitter failed Ibrox trialist will have said the Tavernier incident wasn’t a foul and that Whitehall was brought down in the box and Balogun should’ve been sent off.
Naismith and McFadden have been very balanced and very true in their verdicts on the two controversial incidents.
We should have had a penalty and Kilmarnock should have had a free-kick a yard or two outside the penalty area.
No one can argue the foul was in the box. Whitehall did throw himself into the box to attempt to win a penalty but he was brought down by Balogun.
As for the Tavernier incident, it was so clear that was a foul and Robertson even ended up awarding Killie a goal kick as though McKenzie didn’t make contact with the ball.
It makes no sense.
We’ve seen some shockers this season and Robertson’s performance, in the eyes of both teams, was questionable on Saturday.
In other Rangers news, fans blasted this one Gers player’s performance despite the win against Kilmarnock.