HIBERNIAN full-back Paul McGinn last night branded Premier Sports Cup final referee John Beaton “inept” and claimed that winners Celtic were awarded decisions at Hampden that would not have been given to his team.
McGinn was yellow carded for complaining to Beaton after Kyogo Furuhashi had scored his second goal in the second-half – because fourth official Greg Aitken was holding the substitution board during the build-up to it and he thought there was going to be a change made.
The Scotland internationalist also felt the Parkhead club, who came from behind to triumph and lift the trophy after Paul Hanlon had put the Easter Road outfit in front, should not have had a free-kick before their winner.
“We are really annoyed about the second goal,” he said. “It’s not a foul and when it is, the fourth official is holding the board. So we just assumed it’s a sub. Jamie Murphy could have stood over the ball, as you do, but we just assumed it’s a sub.
“The referee has no control over the situation and just lets it happen and the goal goes in. You can see me running to him straight away and I get myself booked. It’s inept.
“Our kitman has handed the board to the fourth official. I’m almost certain that’s the case and we see the numbers so we just assume. Jamie Murphy steps back from stopping and we all assume.
“Even 90 seconds later Celtic are going to make a sub and (Anthony) Ralston takes a quick throw-in. He whistles it back for the sub to happen. So he kind of knows. I ran to him and asked him what was going on. It’s anger. There is no way we’d have got that the other way.”
McGinn added: “Celtic had three or four moments. Tom Rogic is an unbelievable football player and there were times where he ran the show. If he turns and drives past a few before playing someone in then fair enough.
“It’s not a foul (Beaton ruled that Paul Hanlon had barged over Liel Abada). It’s a sub, but then, before you know it, he (Furuhashi) is so sharp and I couldn’t catch him. Then the ball’s in the net.”
McGinn also felt that Hibs should have been awarded a penalty in the sixth minute of injury-time when Celtic defender Carl Starfelt pushed Ryan Porteous inside the Celtic area as his fellow centre half challenged for the ball.
But he said: “It all happens at 100-miles-per-hour so it’s hard for him (Beaton) as there’s so much going on. We had a chance right before that so there’s a lot going on and it’s a harder one.”
David Gray, who took charge of Hibs on a temporary basis following the sacking of Jack Ross earlier this month, was annoyed that Beaton awarded Celtic the free-kick that led to the second goal, but not a late spot kick.
“I don’t think my team should have been defending a free-kick in the first place,” he said. “I don’t understand how that is a foul on the halfway line.
“If that is a foul on the halfway line I have no idea how it is not a penalty in the box late on. I don’t see how one can be a foul and the other one not be. I don’t get it at all. I am disappointed with the two decisions that were made that, absolutely.”
Asked whether he thought Furuhashi’s goals had been offside, Gray said: “The first one was very tight. It was hard to see because it was on the other side of the pitch and there was a lot of smoke. That made it more difficult.
“Regardless of whether he is onside or offside, it is too easy from our point of view. Having just got ourselves in front during the game, we needed to be switched on and defend the ball better, regardless of whether he is onside or not, because of how tight it was.
“The second one, I think we switch off. Once he awards the foul, which I didn’t think was a foul, we should have been defending a free-kick, but we weren’t. It is about that reaction, us defending that better. But he isn’t offside for the second one.”