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LENNON IN REF BLAST – AGAIN!

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NEIL LENNON was fuming at referee John Beaton after Hibs’ 1-1 draw against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park last night.

The Easter Road side were forced to play with only 10 men for more than 75 minutes after keeper Ofir Marciano was ordered off.

Lennon was banned from the touchline as he served the first of a three-game suspension for misconduct and criticism of officials.

However, the Irishman said: “It’s a good job I was in the stand given how I felt about the referee’s performance.

“Yes, he got the red card right, there’s no question about it, but the decisions second-half, how they ended up with 11 men on the pitch is beyond me.”

The visitors took an early lead when Efe Ambrose nodded home Scott Allan’s cross after only two minutes.

But were soon depleted as Marciano raced some 30 yards from his goalmouth and raised his arms to block from striker Chris Kane, who eventually hit the late equaliser.

Lennon insisted Perth midfielder Blair Alston should have been dismissed for a second-half foul on John McGinn.

He said: “The tackle from Alston is red card. It’s cynical, it’s reckless, it’s endangering my player.

“He gets a yellow and then, two minutes later, after the referee telling Paul Hanlon that he’s on one more, he takes John down again and nothing’s given. It beggars belief.

“Some of the tackling is really, really dangerous – if you can call it tackling.

“The game’s live on TV, you guys watch the game and understand the game, you know when a bad tackle is a bad tackle. The only one who doesn’t seem to agree with us is the referee.

“Sometimes people say you have to respect the referee – I get that, but I can’t respect that decision, I really can’t, because it’s wrong.

“I’m not looking for the game to be evened up. I just want the rules of the game applied in the right way.

“That’s not a tackle – I know how to tackle and that is not a tackle.”

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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