FRUSTRATED Ayr United defender Darryll Meggatt said Hibs should not have been awarded a penalty in Saturday's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Easter Road.

The former Queens Park and Alloa ace was adjudged to have tripped Martin Boyle in 13 minutes, with Jason Cummings converting from the spot to give the home side a 2-0 lead.

However he is now focusing on the fight for survival as United aim to consolidate their place in the Championship following promotion last season.

Meggatt was disappointed with the decision and said: "I don't think it was a penalty - it was a foul but it was outside the box and was a free-kick. The red card knocked the stuffing out of us - it looked a red card as it was a high challenge. Scott McKenna was gutted and feels he let the boys down. But we take the defeat together and move on."

Added the defender: "It's good for a club like Ayr to get to a quarter-final but our main objective is to stay in the league and the Dumbarton result went our way and we have a game in hand. Hopefully we can keep picking up points and hopefully we can build on our win against Raith Rovers. We have an important game coming up at home to Falkirk on Saturday and we must start winning."

Manager Ian McCall couldn't argue with the sending off, said the penalty was a "50-50" decision and said his side should have had a free-kick for a handball at the edge of the box by Efe Ambrose with the hosts 2-1 up in the second half.

The manager was nevertheless proud with his players' efforts and said: "It was very difficult going down to 10 men but the players worked their socks off. It was a great finish by Craig McGuffie, he is going to be a player - there's no doubt about it. We started the game OK and got right back in it with an exceptional strike. But we were depleted today and have to start getting players back."

United are boosted with the news that El Alagui returns after being cup-tied, with Robbie Crawford and Declan McDaid in line for a return from injury with Ross Docherty being assessed later in the week. Jamie Adams, Peter Murphy and Paul Cairney are all set to be out injured.

Looking ahead McCall said: "It's a very important game for us and it's important that we take three points. We have some massive matches coming up."