The on-loan Liverpool forward was booked for diving in the final minute of the first half during the 2-2 draw in Dingwall. However, he and Hearts are adamant he was clipped by County’s Jordan Tillson and did not throw himself to the ground.
Neilson insisted at full-time that referee David Dickinson made the wrong call as the Edinburgh club prepared to launch an appeal. “A shambles,” he said. “I think it was water on the brain from the referee. We’ll appeal it and get it.
“I just don’t like the idea. If he’s going to book someone for diving it has to be absolutely blatant. There can’t be any grey area. It soils someone’s reputation to say they are diving.
“We will be appealing it and I’d like to think the referee will look at it and change his decision. It puts the boy [Woodburn] under pressure for the rest of the game. He makes a tackle ten minutes later, probably a yellow card, but he [Dickinson] bottles it.”
Neilson was both pleased and frustrated with Hearts as they recovered from 2-1 down to draw 2-2 with County. Liam Boyce opened the scoring before two Blair Spittal goals gave the hosts a half-time advantage. Stephen Kingsley’s free-kick restored parity.
“I thought we actually played really well in periods and moved it well. We got into some really good areas and probably should have scored more goals,” said Neilson. “But we lost two scrappy goals in the first half.
“We knew with Jordan White up front they would go direct and would get second balls. We lost two and that was the most frustrating thing. I was pleased we managed to fight back and get back to 2-2 and we were the team in the ascendancy to go and try to win it.
“We like to try and win every game, but we couldn’t quite do it. The team talk certainly changed a wee bit at half-time, going behind. I just thought they were poor goals to lose. I didn’t feel they had to work hard to get the goal, whereas we had to get ourselves into really good areas to score.”