MOTHERWELL manager Stuart Kettlewell says he is disappointed in referee Kevin Clancy for failing to play the correct amount of stoppage time in his side’s League Cup win over East Fife, accusing the official of showing a lack of respect for the competition.

Kettlewell was furious with Clancy after the match with Motherwell’s chances of seeded spot in Sunday’s draw for the last 16 in jeopardy and it looking as though that issue would be decided by goal difference.

Results elsewhere ultimately meant that Motherwell will in fact be a seeded team in the next stage, but Kettlewell was still hugely disappointed in Clancy’s decision to call the game early.

“It was something that was in our mind and we spoke about it at half time, it was important that we tried to put ourselves in a position where we could be seeded,” Kettlewell said.

“We felt there was an opportunity to create more chances and score more goals and put ourselves in a better position.

“But there was a strange course of events, which explains my conversation with the referee at the end of the game.

“He stopped the game right on 90 minutes when there had been a head knock when Conor Wilkinson was down for easily three minutes and there were 10 substitutions in the game.

“When I asked the referee the question, he told me that he felt we’d had enough of the game. I find that remarkable.

“We knew that it was the case that we might have needed another goal. I’m not asking the referee for favours - I’m asking him to play the second half on its merits. If there’s time to be added on, let’s make sure we play the allocated amount of time.

“I’ve never seen a game of football in recent times where there’s no added time and today it could have meant something.

“I’d like to think Kevin will realise he’s made a huge error today. That could have made a massive difference to a club like Motherwell, if we get the chance to go on a cup run and the revenue that could bring in can be game changing at times.

“I was disappointed with him and I don’t think you are showing full respect to the competition and the game.

“I’ve seen the situation in boys’ club football but that can’t happen at this level. Fortunately, we are a seeded team but that could have been the difference.

“We were trying to push our players on to see if we could score more goals and the referee ended the game before he should.”

Meanwhile, Kettlewell commented on speculation linking the club with moves for attacking players Mika Biereth, an Arsenal youngster, and former St Johnstone forward Theo Bair.

“We’re speaking to a lot of attacking players, [Theo]’s one we’ve spoken about but there’s nothing done on that front. He’s a player who knows the Scottish game but nothing to confirm.

“[Mika is] another attacking option who’s been mentioned among us but no deal done.”