Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs has hit out at referee Stephen Finnie’s failure to take into account Mark Oxley’s need for a new contact lens when booking the goalkeeper during last night’s victory over Scottish Cup holders Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
The yellow card is significant in that it rules the goalkeeper out of next month’s semi-final against Dundee United.
Finn Otso Virtanen took over duties for the remaining minutes last night, with Oxley unable to carry on without the lens, which he lost in a challenge.
Stubbs called for Finnie to hold up his hands and admit he was too rash to book the keeper. The Hibs coach complained Oxley was never asked why he was taking to so long to recover from what most presumed was a headknock.
The referee booked the goalkeeper for time wasting, the offence for which he was cautioned in the last round against Hearts. His likely absence from Hibs’ return to Hampden next month took some of the sheen off last night’s hard earned quarter-final replay victory in the Highlands.
Anthony Stokes scored twice to answer his critics, with Iain Vigurs pulling one back for the hosts late on.
While Stubbs hailed the victory on the back of Sunday’s League Cup final defeat by Ross County he was quick to criticise Finnie for failing to realise the real reason for Oxley’s late departure. The referee then played seven minutes of time added on.
“The referee is supposed to communicate with the player and everyone in the stadium could see Ox pointing to his eye, and therefore it’s obvious he has a problem in his eye,” said Stubbs.
“I would have thought the referee would say ‘what is the problem?’ And if he had asked him he would have said ‘I need another contact lens’. But he hasn’t and he books him!
“He has lost his right contact lens. But unfortunately for us he misses the semi-final because of a lack of communication. The referee will probably hide behind the claim he did ask him.
“If there is any common sense you’d like to think it could be looked at it again. If he needs another contact lens then he does not deserve a booking. The referee’s wrong. Whether it can be rescinded I do not know. We have made gains as in yellow cards couldn’t once be appealed – we have seen Aberdeen win one.
“But there has to be common sense. If the referee knows he needs a contact lens then he know he is not time wasting. He is blind enough with them in!”