FRASER DUNCAN blasted the performance of the referee as Sauchie suffered a first defeat in three games at the hands of Broughty Athletic.

The Beechwood Park boss claimed the officials’ failure to make important decisions cost his side the game, pointing to a first-half incident where Darren Cummings was pulled back as he shaped to shoot.

That would have likely left Sauchie playing against ten men and with a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot, but instead the Wee County side were left reeling as the visitors clinched three points.

Duncan told Advertiser Sport: “The referee has absolutely destroyed the game. It’s hard to watch because we had a referee last week who was outstanding, whereas the referee against Broughty just didn’t want to make the big decisions.

"In the incident at the end of the first half, Daz is through on goal and if he’s not pulled back he scores. It was a turning point in the game because if he made the right decision we would have taken at least a point.”

However, Duncan also admitted that his players should have made the game safe after they passed up a host of first-half chances.

He said: “It was a very difficult one to take because it was a game where we felt we could have picked up three points. We have let ourselves down a bit.

"We missed four or five really good chances and that is what killed us in the end. When you look at the opportunities we had we should have taken something from the game.

“Broughty were well-organised and made themselves hard to beat, and we just weren’t good enough on the day. We huffed and puffed in spells, but we have got to be better. I am disappointed, and we need to put things right.

“We have a very difficult game at Kennoway on Saturday and we are going to have to lick our wounds and get back on it.

"It will be a very difficult game but we have to pick up points because we are running out of chances to do that between now and Christmas. If we don’t do that we are going to find ourselves in a real battle.”

The Sauchie boss is still looking to add to his squad, with two strikers at the top of his shopping list, but he revealed there could also be a return for defender Steven Dolan, who featured last Saturday as a trialist.

Duncan added: “We need two strikers. We are working hard to try and find the right players so hopefully we will be able to identify them and bring them in over the next couple of weeks.

“Stevie has been in doing a bit of training and I’m happy to have him there because we know him well. He’s always at training and his attitude is spot on.

"We are needing to add to the squad so if that means bringing guys like him back, that’s what we’ll do.

“The squad being down to 14 is really starting to show at the minute, but if we’re bringing players in they need to be right for the squad. I’m not just going to bring in players for the sake of it.”