Falkirk manager Steven Pressley fumes at referee display

Falkirk manager Steven Pressley took to the pitch at half time to vent his frustration with referee Euan Norris (unseen)
Pressley took to the Hampden pitch at half-time to vent his frustration

Manager Steven Pressley was delighted with Falkirk's showing in the League Cup Cup semi-final with Celtic.

But he complained that his callow side were undone by poor refereeing after the 3-1 defeat at Hampden.

"I thought we gave a wonderful performance and I don't think the scoreline was a true reflection of the game," Pressley told BBC Scotland.

"I'm so disappointed for the players. We gave so much to the game and it was decided on two debatable decisions."

Pressley was dismissed from the dugout after storming on to the pitch at half-time to remonstrate with referee Euan Norris.

He was unhappy with the award of a penalty, converted by Scott Brown, after Bairns skipper Darren Dods had grappled with Thomas Rogne at a corner kick.

Pressley also objected to the free-kick given to Celtic, that was duly thumped in by Anthony Stokes, who later added a simple tap-in.

Falkirk were level at half-time thanks to a cool finish from Jay Fulton and caused problems for the Scottish Premier League leaders throughout an entertaining match.

"The two pivotal decisions in the game went Celtic's way and we paid the price for that," added Pressley.

"I have enormous pride in these young players. At times we had control of the game and really showed what a good side Falkirk are.

"The most important factor for me was that we handled the occasion.

"I knew we had the players but you have to handle the occasion and they did that brilliantly."

Pressley's furious half-time tirade led to him watching the second half from the stand.

"I'm not proud of that," he said of his sending off. "I need to handle these situations slightly better but emotions were running high and I'm very passionate.

"I just wanted justice for my players

"The issue for me is would it have been given in the other box? That's the question for me."

Bairns midfielder Kallum Higginbotham was the sponsors' man-of-the-match after a barnstorming display.

"He's a really talented kid," Pressley said. "He's a real number 10 but he can take the knocks as well.

"He was outstanding but I thought he was just one of the entire group that did themselves justice today."

Full-back Keiran Duffie was another to catch the eye and Falkirk may well have a busy few days dealing with transfer enquiries.

"We want to hold on to our talent and we want to see these players develop and our supporters want to see that as well," explained Pressley.

"But we also take enormous satisfaction from watching young players progress to the next level and making a good living for themselves.

"We have many more at the level under that we have great hopes for, so the future for Falkirk is exceptionally exciting."

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