Stenny enraged with penalty decision in defeat at Raith
Raith Rovers 2 Stenhousemuir 0
Stenhousemuir left Stark's Park feeling aggrieved following a 2-0 defeat to title favourites Raith Rovers.
Brown Ferguson's newly-promoted side were unfortunate to draw a blank having struck the woodwork twice, as well as enjoying some decent periods of pressure at the home of the only full-time club in the division.
Most of the Warriors frustration, however, was aimed at referee Mike Roncone following a decision to award Raith a contentious penalty midway through the first half, which Kevin Nisbet scored to give the hosts the lead.
Nisbet added a second late in the game to seal the points for the title favourites, but while Stenny boss Ferguson was delighted with his players, he was fuming with the referee.
"I can't be happier with our group of players - to a man I thought we were excellent," he said.
"The players did their job, and their was only one person who didn't do their job and that was the referee in giving the penalty.
"Our player has slid in and made contact with the ball, tracked his runner brilliantly, and for whatever reason the ref has pointed to the penalty spot.
"There was not a claim from anywhere in the ground and that's what disappoints me - when major decisions are made that no-one else sees.
"That's not the first time - there's been a few occasions with this referee where strange decisions have happened against us.
"Ultimately, we got beaten by a very poor decision by a referee."
Stenny will feel confident that they can more than hold their own in League One this season following their performance in Kirkcaldy.
After conceding the penalty in the 24th minute, the visitors almost levelled before half-time when Alan Cook's cross looped over the head of goalkeeper Kieran Wright and bounced back off the crossbar.
Stenny were on the front foot in the second half, and they should have equalised on 68 minutes when Mark McGuigan met Alan Reid's cross but from six yards he could only divert the ball onto the post.
That miss was punished seven minutes later when Raith sub Lewis Milne crossed for Nisbet to head home his second and seal Stenny's fate.
However, the Ochilview men will take confidence from the performance.
Ferguson added: "There were a number of positives from the game.
"The only disappointing thing is we didn't find the back of the net.
"For 30 minutes in the second half we actually controlled it and looked like we were the full-time team at home.
"I'm just more disappointed with what seems like a ludicrous decision."
Raith Rovers: Wright, Watson, Murray, Benedictus, Gillespie, Buchanan (Milne 74), Matthews, Wedderburn, Nisbet, Flanagan (Valentine 88), McKay. Not used: Trialist, Stevenson, Berry.
Stenhousemuir: Smith, Reid (Trialist 85), Donaldson, Neill, Garcia Tena, Trialist, McMenamin (Vaughan 79), Dickson, McGuigan, Duthie, Cook. Not used: Sinclair, Kemp, Johnson, McMinn.
Referee: Mike Roncone
Attendance: 1415 (42 away fans).