Ross County manager John Hughes was left disappointed with refereeing decisions that went against his side during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Hibs.

Billy McKay had given the Staggies the lead after half-time but Martin Boyle soon won a penalty up the other end, Hughes alleging that the forward conned match referee John Beaton into giving the spot-kick. Boyle, who picked up a yellow for a hard tackle on Leo Hjelde, scored before again going down softly in the box minutes later, not booked for diving.

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Boyle was the centre of controversy. (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Hughes reckons his side were harshly dealt with but insists they switched off after scoring, sitting 10th in the Scottish Premiership and three points clear of relegation spots: “I am expecting better from John Beaton to see what was up, but he only gets one look at it

“Boyle then dived again on the far side, but John decided not to take any action because it would have been a second yellow and a red. The last time I saw a dive like that the boy had Speedos on. That’s what I was talking to him about at the end. You need to see it, that’s what you get paid for and we expect better than that.

“It just seems that up at Ross County it’s easy to give penalties. I’m not having a go at referees, I’m in it with them and they have decisions to make and have to make it instantly. I can look at a monitor and see, they can’t do that.

Unhappy with the call. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“I thought the second goal was offside at first, then I saw it again and it wasn’t – so I admitted that to the fourth official. That penalty though – not for me. I don’t think we laid a glove on Hibs in the first half and we were hanging on.

“But I said to them at half-time they’d been solid and we’d get a chance – and that’s what happened. Once it fell to Billy McKay it was in the back of the net. But you see it so many times in football, you score, celebrate and then switch off. I don’t know what it is but it happens all the time.”

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