Motherwell manager Mark McGhee felt John Beaton cost his team the chance of victory at Dens Park for a second successive season after the referee and his assistant failed to spot an opening goal for the visitors.
Dundee goalkeeper David Mitchell stumbled over his goal-line as he caught Scott McDonald’s 21st-minute cross – but neither Beaton nor assistant referee Ross Haswell signalled for a goal.
Mitchell’s whole body was inside the goal and Motherwell went on to suffer more misery as the outstanding Craig Wighton set up goals for Cammy Kerr and Marcus Haber in each half to seal a 2-0 win which lifted Dundee off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
McGhee said: “The goal that wasn’t given is clearly a goal. There is no doubt. At the time I thought that and, having looked on the camera, it’s a goal.
“It didn’t cause us to lose the game but I think it caused us not to win the game.”
The Motherwell manager’s frustration was compounded by the fact Beaton awarded Dundee a crucial soft late penalty in the same fixture last term.
“They don’t give you any explanation,” he said. “He never gave me any explanation last year when he gave a penalty against Chris Cadden and we drew 2-2 here. The same referee.
“I have to say though, the linesman has got to help him. There are two of them there and they can’t see it. I can’t understand it.”
Motherwell had recovered from a shaky start but the game swung against them when Kerr robbed McDonald on the halfway line in the 40th minute before scoring on the rebound from Wighton’s shot.
And Dundee were comfortable throughout the second half, with Wighton showing great skill to lay on Haber’s first Dundee goal with 10 minutes left.
But McGhee felt his side could have gone on to win the game if they had been awarded the goal.
“At that time we were starting to undermine them, they were getting a bit of stick from the crowd, the goalie was under a little bit of pressure before that,” he said.
“And that was the point we could have gone on and won the game. When it wasn’t given I was disappointed we then conceded a goal and then they just turned us round, they constantly hooked it back in, hooked it back in, and we found it very difficult to get out against the wind, up the hill and a goal down.
“But the first half was the disappointment for me, we didn’t do well enough.”