Today we saw the basis of Sevco’s SPL “challenge.” It didn’t come from their players, many of whom, like Barton, were utterly anonymous.
No it came from Craig Thomson, who gave us a masterclass in cheating and dishonest officiating which I fear will be the norm for the whole of this season.
Specifically, he allowed Sevco’s winger and opening goal-scorer Harry Forrester to stay on the pitch in spite of committing a series of clear-cut bookable fouls when he already had a yellow card. Finally, when Warburton had failed to sub the player, and after another dreadful tackle, the referee actually seemed to be imploring the Sevco boss to make the decision for him. Warburton then pulled the player off, thus sparing us the gruesome spectacle of watching him kick and punch his way to a man of the match award whilst the ref looked the other way.
Let’s not mess about here; Forrester could have been sent off for the initial tackle.
It was a shocker. The ref did him a big favour not sending him for an early use of the soap. To allow him to commit fouls afterwards was absolutely ridiculous, and more so when you consider that Warburton had the opportunity to substitute him and didn’t do it. At that point, all bets are off and the ref should have marked his card accordingly. Instead Forrester was allowed another wild lunge before the ref gave Warburton a long hard look.
Chris Sutton, in the BT Sport box, didn’t mince his words.
He described the decision as “shocking” and accused the ref of “bottling it.” We know what he meant.
When Hartley was interviewed after the match the guy asking the questions took great care not to ask him about the decision, although he joked with Forrester about it when he was on. Aside from Sutton, this channel is even more slanted at times than Sky Sports Scotland.
This is what we’re going to have to deal with.
These kind of decisions, these kind of refereeing displays, are going to be the norm. Referees will let this side away with murder.
They will excuse every offence, as Operation: Get Sevco European Football hits high gear.
They were awful to watch today. They had an early two goal lead before Dundee woke up and started to play. By full time they had resorted to the long punt up the park. Their so-called top players – McKay, Barton, Kranjcar – were dire.
This is not a team we should ever have anything to fear from … but then, we were never really afraid in the first place.
Of the SFA’s finest, maybe, and today we saw the reason why.
In the late Turnbull Hutton’s language, this was absolutely corrupt.
In Brendan We Trust.
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