Peter Houston has hit out at match referee John McKendrick for a “shocking decision” which he says cost his side the match at Ibrox.
The Bairns boss will be reported to the Scottish Football Association for alleged foul language made to the match officials after the 3-1 defeat.
Houston’s ire stems around Rangers’ second goal when Tom Taiwo was penalised for a collision with Nicky Law in the centre of the park, just yards outside the penalty box. James Tavernier sent the resultant free-kick past Danny Rogers and Rangers went on to claim all three points in the top of the table clash at a hostile Ibrox.
“I’m totally aggrieved that we have been given a foul against us when Tom Taiwo clearly won the ball,” said Houston. “The man then falls into him and the referee gives a free-kick. It’s never a free-kick in a month of Sundays.”
He added: “First minute of the game our player - Craig Sibbald - is severely taken out. It’s got to be a yellow card, there’s no ‘first tackles’ any more. It’s at least a yellow card.
“So the referee in my opinion didn’t see foul play. He didn’t recognise foul play when there should have a yellow card in the first minute, but he recognised foul play when there was no foul committed.
“So for me the referee has cost us a point.”
The Bairns boss challenged the official over his performance after the game and has been warned he faces being reported to Hampden.
“I went in to see him, and he’s reported me to the association for my language, allegedly, for the fact he didn’t see the tackle in the first minute merited a yellow card, which surprises me because I’ve seen yellows for a lot less.
“Then he reckons our player won the ball and went through the Rangers player. Absolute nonsense as far as I’m concerned.
“His view is the Falkirk player won the ball and then went through the Rangers player which he says is a foul. My player won the ball, the Rangers player’s momentum going forward fell into my player, he says my player pulled him down. My player won the ball and was bundled over by the Rangers player. A shocking decision. It cost us the match. One hundred per cent.
“That’s upset me because our players put a lot into it. Rangers are a good side, I don’t deny that but I think we restricted them, and pressure on the referee has got to him, in my opinion.
“Rangers backroom staff and officials were having a pop at the referee on the way up the tunnel at half-time saying they gave them nothing. Well he gave them something in the second half so you wonder if pressure like that has got to the referee. I don’t know.
“It’s hard when you put so much into the game and the referee makes such a blatant error that in my opinion costs us at least a point. I’d have been happy with a point from Ibrox, no other team has done it. I’m not saying we were going to win the game, but we might steal it. We were under a lot of pressure but we did well against them.
“The thing I’m annoyed about is Luke Leahy got a yellow card, fine. It was a stonewall yellow card for a foul on the edge of the box. I’ll hold my hands up and say ‘Aye that’s a foul’.
“But when Tom Taiwo wins the ball and the player jumps into the man the referee gives a foul against the man who has won the ball? That’s not a foul.
“Our tactics, our shape was good and we caused them problems. Rangers, being the good side they are, will dominate the play but you’ve got to stand up and hurt them on the other side.
“We deserved something from the match but the referee has cost us that for a poor decision which he explains to me as our player winning the ball and going through the Rangers player - I didn’t see it like that.
“It’s one of those days where you feel completely let down by the officials.”