JIM Duffy reckons his side were well worthy of a point against Hibernian on Saturday thanks to an improved second half and ‘outstanding’ defending.
Lawrence Shankland levelled from the spot after Jason Cummings had given the visitors the lead and the game finished 1-1, thanks in large part to Ton’s impressive back four who put in another brilliant shift against Neil Lennon’s men.
And Duffy praised his defence for their part in the stalemate, complimenting them for handling some of the league’s best forwards comfortably.
He said: “It was a difficult match, as you would expect.
“In the first half Hibs were definitely better, we really couldn’t get any rhythm in the game and they certainly were in the ascendancy without having too many goal scoring opportunities.
“Second half I thought we were a lot better, we pressed the game better and got higher up the pitch. We didn’t get caught on the counter-attack as often. We were better organised but I don’t think there were many chances for either team.
“You tick the games off the calendar. We were playing the team at the top of the league, the pitch was a bit fiery so it was difficult to get it down and play. There weren’t a lot of passes or a great rhythm but in a game like that you just want to get something from it, and for the effort the players put in we deserved something.
“I thought our back four were outstanding, two games in a row playing against some of the most talented players in the league, for us to defend as well as we did, I think it’s a huge compliment to our boys.
"It was a definite penalty on Jamie McDonagh and we capitalised on it, and I think a draw is a fair result over the whole 90 minutes. From our point of view it’s a valuable point.”
Ton felt slightly aggrieved at the opening goal as midfielder Jamie Lindsay was forced off the pitch with a bloody nose in the build-up to it. And while Duffy understands the laws of the game, he was disappointed that the on-loan Celtic colt wasn’t allowed back onto the field of play quickly enough.
He said: “I know the rules, it wasn’t a case of it being against the rules. It was a blood injury, the assistant has to check it before he gets allowed back on. It was just because it was such a long time.
“We lost a goal and had a man off which makes it more difficult, but I know the rules. We had a situation earlier in the season where the linesman had a wee look at our player and told him to come on, so that’s when there’s a bit of frustration.”
And as far as his spat with visiting boss Neil Lennon, Duffy said briefly: “It’s water under the bridge as far as I’m concerned, it was water under the bridge 30 seconds after it happened.”