Lauchlan defends red-card referee

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The Independent Football

The Dundee United defender Jim Lauchlan believes referee Kenny Clark was wrong to send off his team-mate Derek Lilley on Saturday during their Tennent's Scottish Cup quarter-final draw with Ayr – but has leapt to the defence of under-fire officials.

The referee showed the United substitute a red card three minutes from the end of the 2-2 draw following a challenge on Paul Lovering. The Dundee United manager Alex Smith was furious with the decision and will appeal against a ban which will see Lilley miss games against Rangers and Hearts. But Lauchlan had some sympathy for the referee and believes these incidents even themselves out over the season. "We were a bit disappointed with the decision," said Lauchlan. "But sometimes they go for you and sometimes they don't. It is disappointing to lose a quality player, but you just get on with it. It's just how the referee sees it."

Smith will ask the Scottish Football Association today to watch video evidence and overturn the decision. Lovering will be fit in time for the replay on Wednesday week and Lilley will also be available.

The defender Scott Paterson insists Partick Thistle have not blown their chances in the Scottish Cup despite a lacklustre performance at Firhill. Paterson's late goal earned the Maryhill side a 2-2 draw and a replay against Inverness Caledonian Thistle after twice being left trailing by the Highland side. He said: "I don't think we have lost our chance of going through at all – anything can happen in football. We have a good record against Inverness and, although it will still be a tough game, we have to go up there and see what happens."

The Inverness striker Dennis Wyness fired the visitors into the lead after six minutes. Martin Hardie levelled after the break but Wyness restored the lead three minutes later and then Paterson scored a fine goal 15 minutes from time.

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