MORTON manager Dougie Imrie has blasted referee Mike Roncone after the whistler chalked off three goals in his side's draw against Ayr United.

Gozie Ugwu was judged to have fouled Honest Men shot-stopper Aidan McAdams in the build-up to two goals and Michael Ledger's strike was ruled offside.

While Imrie was frustrated they couldn't kill off Lee Bullen's men after Cameron Blues put Ton in front, he praised his team's performance as they took another step towards securing Championship safety.

He told the Tele: “I’m disappointed, I really am.

“I thought that the boys were excellent from start to finish.

“We put Ayr under a lot of pressure for a long time, but it’s the old cliche - you don’t kill them off and they come back to bite you.

“We’ve had three goals wrongly ruled out in my opinion and the first one in particular was baffling.

“Nobody has batted an eyelid and the Ayr players have started walking away as if it’s a goal, but you’ve got to be careful what you’re saying.

“For the third one my players are saying that he’s adjudged the wrong player as being offside, so it’s difficult to take.

"But we’ve got to move on because ultimately it’s a good point for us to take.

“It’s pointless trying to talk to the referees.

“They ask for respect and for you to talk to them nicely but when you try to approach them, they just blank you so there’s no point in going to speak to them.

“I’m disappointed for them, but I'm pleased with the commitment and effort that the boys have shown especially after the disappointment of last week's draw against Dunfermline.

“It’s a testament to them, because the first thing I said when I came in was that the home form needed to change and fast and since then we’ve been undefeated.

“We’ll move on to Friday against Kilmarnock now. It’ll no doubt be a tough game but it’s one that we’re looking forward to in front of the TV cameras and a home crowd.”

Imrie praised Robbie Muirhead for his impact from the start after biding his time on the bench.

He believes it is good for his side to have so many options available at this stage of the season.

The Ton boss said: “I know what Robbie can offer and he’s been different class with me since I came through the door.

“He’s been deserving of his opportunity and he’d got one against Partick. He did well and then taken a knock in which he couldn’t continue, so he’s really had to bide his time and he’s fairly taken his chance.

“Everyone’s staking a claim for places in the team and we’ve had other boys who have come in and done well after not playing for a wee while.

“Competition is good and that’s what we need at this time of the season.”