JIM McMahon, the Motherwell chairman, insisted the League Cup final was "killed off" by referee Craig Thomson.

McMahon was unable to resists adding his own criticism to the official whose decision to send off Cedric Kipre and award a penalty angered all at Fir Park.

In a statement which began with praising the supporters, the banker did not miss Thomson.

McMahon said: "Almost 12,000 of you made the trip to Hampden and, although you were sent home ultimately disappointed, I want to thank you for your incredible support.

"I want to express my pride for how the players, manager and staff performed, and I extend that to the supporters as well. Together, we never gave up. We supported each other throughout, even long after the full-time whistle.

"Like everyone else watching, I was completely engaged in what was a fascinating, end-to-end first half.

"The second half started with a bang and was building towards a contest that would’ve been a perfect advert for Scottish football. A match that all parties – fans, broadcasters, sponsors and commentators – could relish.

To have the game as a sporting spectacle killed off by one incident changed what most were talking about after the match, leaving them feeling ‘What?’. That’s a great shame.

"But we now have to move on. We hold our heads high and behave with dignity. As Stephen Robinson said so eloquently after the game, our season doesn’t end here.

"I am sure that you will give all our players, Cédric in particular, a special welcome on Wednesday night and roar them on to what will hopefully be an important three points."