Rangers penalty for handball ‘would have been harsh’ says goal scorer Ross Graham after ‘special moment’

The defender was at the heart of the action for his side, scoring the opener in the first-half before playing a part in two penalty claims for the defending champions – neither of which were given by referee Bobby Madden.

Though he can’t remember his tangle with substitute Sakala, Graham did suggest his handball controversy would have been “harsh” when a Charlie Mulgrew clearance caught his arm in the first-half.

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“It would have been harsh if they’d given a penalty for the first call,” he said “My hands were down by my side so I don’t think it was a penalty.”

When quizzed on the Sakala incident following a goalmouth scramble and Benjamin Siegrist save he admitted: “I can’t remember that moment to be honest!”

Graham turns 21 this week and marked his special occasion with a goal – his first as a professional after loan spells at Dunfermline, Elgin and Cove Rangers.

“I went on three loan spells to get me ready for this moment – I think I’m ready now.

“It’s my first goal professionally. I maybe scored a goal when I was 10 or 11 but it’s been a long time coming.

Dundee United’s Ross Graham applauds the fans after the final whistle of the cinch Premiership match at Tannadice Park, Dundee. Picture date: Sunday February 20, 2022. PA Photo. See PA Story SOCCER Dundee Utd. (Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

“It’s a very special moment for me – I’ll have it on repeat for the rest of the week. I’ve been dreaming of that for most of my life. It was a special moment to see the fans get off their seats when I scored.”

It was though tinged with a little regret, after going ahead United weathered a torrent of Rangers attacks to add a point to three three won against the Glasgow side earlier in the season.

“Rangers are a good side and were always going to put us under pressure.

“The backline were very good. Everyone put a shift in – midfielders and strikers all defended from the front.

“We had to defend to get a point out of the game.

“We were obviously disappointed when we were ahead to concede the goal but we’ll take a point.

“We’ve all been playing well and keeping the back door shut.”

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