RANGERS manager Mark Warburton condemned the performance of referee Willie Collum after his side squandered three points to Championship rivals Falkirk. Collum, endorsed by Uefa this week when he became the only Scottish referee appointed to the Euro 2016 finals, enraged both teams at points during the Bairns' dramatic 2-1 victory against the Ibrox side at the Falkirk Stadium.

While home players felt he was guilty of 'evening things up' with the award of an injury time penalty for a mysterious handball against Blair Alston - and would surely have been far angrier had Danny Rogers not dived to his left to save it - Warburton struggled to contain his anger about the incident, just two minutes in, which saw him point to the spot despite a tackle from Danny Wilson on Will Vaulks which occurred a metre outside the box. Warburton was speaking before the late goal from Hibs' Domonique Malonga which reduced the club's Championship lead to just goal difference ahead of the meeting between the two teams at Ibrox next Monday afternoon but it is doubtful whether that improved his mood any.

“We’re still top of the league, aren’t we?" said Warburton. "I’m being polite because I know the negativity that’ll come. The more negative headlines the more we’ll feed off it. But if you’re going to go into details – and I don’t want to come across as a sore loser – there are some shocking decisions there.

"The penalty we got looked innocuous to me so it wasn’t all one-sided," he added. "As a team a bad 20 minutes cost us today and we’ve got to be better than that.

“But the one question from me is, why isn’t Danny Wilson sent off? If it’s a penalty and a goal scoring opportunity then why wasn’t he sent off? I think everyone inside the stadium saw the incident happened two or three yards outside the box. The penalty changed the game, giving our opponent something to hang onto.

“Was it any different to the incident when Nathan [Oduwa] was fouled on the right hand side of the box as he was the same distance outside the area yet nothing happens? If you are going to make that decision less than three minutes into a game of that importance then you must get it right. I don’t think, very politely, it was anywhere near a penalty. I haven’t had the luxury of seeing our penalty again but at the time I didn’t believe it was a penalty incident either."

Rangers have now lost 10 points in their last six league matches and are clearly not displaying the same effervescence they did at the start of the campaign. Kenny Miller insists they can get back to the form which saw them reel off 11 straight league wins.

"Definitely, absolutely no doubt about it," he said. "We’ve got too many good players in there, the staff we’ve got are too good. We’re working tirelessly every day in training."

Warburton's opposite number Peter Houston, whose side are now just six points back, said he had "no idea" whether his own side's spot kick was in or out of the box, and admitted he too was mystified by the late penalty award for Rangers. He said the victory didn't alter his thinking that a place in the play-offs was their seasonal aim. "At this moment we are a huge long shot to win the league," he said. "But that doesn't mean that we can't try."

“It hasn’t hit his hand at all," said Falkirk goalkeeping hero Rogers. "I think he [Collum] might have thought Will’s one was a bit outside the box and he might even things up. I still can’t believe he gave the penalty but it turned out well for me."