CELTIC youngster Adam Montgomery was “very lucky” to escape injury after an off-the-ground lunge from Ryan Jack at Ibrox at the weekend.

The 20-year-old left-back, who joined St Johnstone on loan at the start of the season, was left writhing in pain following the crude tackle.

Referee Willie Collum, who had red-carded Nicky Clark in the 36th minute in the 10-man Perth side’s 2-0 loss, was satisfied to merely book Jack for what appeared to most onlookers as an instant dismissal.

SENT FLYING…Adam Montgomery takes to the air after a wayward challenge from Ryan Jack.

THE GREAT ESCAPE…referee Willie Collum checks the VAR touchline monitor, but decides against a red card for the Rangers midfielder.

The whistler was instructed by VAR to have another view of the flashpoint incident on the trackside monitor and, incredibly, refused to upgrade the flying challenge to red.

The decision left Saints boss Callum Davidson fuming as he believed the tackle had the potential of causing damage to the defender.

The Perth visitors were on the receiving end of three controversial decisions against Michael Beale’s side in Govan when the hosts were awarded an early penalty-kick, then Clark was dismissed followed by Jack escaping banishment.

Davidson, who confirmed the Saints have appealed the Clark decision, told The Courier: “I’ve watched the decisions back and feel no less disappointed, that’s for sure.

SEEING RED…Nicky Clark can hardly believe it as he is dismissed by Willie Collum.

“We need to reassess the handball rule, everyone knows that, and how quickly the penalty was given was incredible.

“The second one, Nicky Clark’s red card, was very, very strange. It was given so late and we were not told VAR was being used.

“Surely you have to go and have a look when it’s such an important decision in the game?

“The third one, I still don’t understand it. It was very lucky Adam wasn’t hurt. It was the type of tackle they have been trying to outlaw for the last four or five years.”

Davidson added: “Ibrox is a hard place to go.

“We are desperate to get results at the moment so the last thing you need are big decisions going against you.”


About Author


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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