Hamilton attacker Dougie Imrie last night despaired at the officiating in his team’s 6-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat at Ibrox, labelling the 55th-minute wild kick on him by Joe Garner that did not result in a red card as “a leg-breaker” and a “UFC challenge”.
Imrie was asked if Garner should have been on the park to bring up a hat-trick, the Rangers striker having already netted once before the incident that earned him a caution, having just been introduced at the interval. “In my opinion, no,” said Imrie, pictured right. “The linesman [Andy Milne] is four yards away, the ref [John Beaton] is five yards away.
“Don’t get me wrong, referees have a hard job to do but those are the decisions that change games. He [Garner] went on to score a hat-trick. If he was sent off then he doesn’t score three goals and who is to say we can’t get something out of the game if they’re down to ten men. We’ve got an extra man, could maybe put pressure on them. The refs have a hard job it’s just disappointing they’re so close to the incident and don’t get it correct.
“He’s just on the park, it’s three minutes into the second half there’s nothing in it. I don’t know if we are in the UFC. Are we in the UFC? It’s disappointing. You either get it or you don’t. The refs have a hard job. I think it was nearly a leg-breaker so he caught me quite high. One thing I will say is that if that was me or Darian MacKinnon then we’re off the park. We’ll leave it at that.”
Imrie also had major gripes about the two other talking points: Rangers taking the lead with a penalty given on the half hour mark for Grant Gillespie making contact with Jon Toral, and keeper Wes Foderingham handling outside the box to snatch the ball away from Rakish Bingham.
“Toral went to shoot and kicked the ground,” Imrie said. “He falls down and the ref gives a penalty. The Wes one as well, he’s outside the box. We can’t put aside the 6-0 but decisions went against us and we are bitterly disappointed with some of them.”
Garner defended himself against accusations of a UFC challenge afterwards as he sported a cut that required seven stitches which resulted from a later collision with Blair Adams.
“I don’t think I got lucky with the challenge, in terms of staying on the park,” said the Rangers striker. “I’ve just watched it back and I didn’t make too much contact. I’ve went in to see him after the game and he’s fine. If he’s said it’s a UFC challenge, I’d say watch it back.”