Yellow-card ref ‘failed to do job’ claims Robbie Neilson

Hearts top scorer Callum Paterson silences the home fans at New Douglas Park after equalising three minutes from time. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

Hearts top scorer Callum Paterson silences the home fans at New Douglas Park after equalising three minutes from time. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

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Hearts head coach Neilson was unhappy at McLean’s decision to show only a yellow card to Crawford for the stoppage-time incident and went into the official’s room after the match to complain.

“I don’t want to say too much about it but I didn’t think the referee did his job on it,” said Neilson. “The referee has a responsibility, first and foremost, to protect players. If he is not going to do that, then he’s not doing his job. I don’t know what the referee has seen. I spoke with him afterwards and he said it happened that quick he wasn’t sure but his job is to protect players.

“Walker is one of our key players. We accept he will get rough treatment at times because people want to put him under pressure but there is a line and when it goes over the line, it’s up to the referee to step in and he didn’t do that.”

Neilson had mixed emotions over the result after watching his side lead 1-0, then trail 3-1, before rescuing a point with two goals in the last 20 minutes.

“It was a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s a tough place to come and when you score three goals, I would expect to pick up three points. We lost two poor goals but we fought hard, kept going and managed to get something out of the game.”

Hamilton manager Martin Canning was left to rue a continuation of the trend this season which has seen his side fail on several occasions to claim all three points after getting themselves into a lead.

“I feel like I’m saying the same thing week-in, week-out,” said Canning, whose team are now one point ahead of Dundee at the foot of the table.

“It’s frustrating. We put ourselves in a great position to win the game and it feels like a defeat again. We should have enough on the park to see the game out at 3-1 up. Even at 3-2, we should be able to see it out.

“But when it went to 3-2, you could see the edginess creep into our play, probably because we’ve struggled to see games out this season.”

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