'Inept' officials call cost Hibs in Premier Sports Cup, blasts defender Paul McGinn

Hibs full-back Paul McGinn has slammed the officiating of the Premier Sports Cup final, describing it as “inept”.

Hibs' Paul McGinn (L) confronts referee John Beaton during the Premier Sports Cup Final between Celtic and Hibernian at Hampden Park, on December 19, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Hibs' Paul McGinn (L) confronts referee John Beaton during the Premier Sports Cup Final between Celtic and Hibernian at Hampden Park, on December 19, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Angry at inconsistencies he believes played a part in the Easter Road club’s defeat, he said they accepted that they had conceded the first goal far too easily but insisted that decisions made after that robbed the Leith outfit of the opportunity to take the showpiece into extra time.

“The first goal against us was far too simple. He's sharp and he's a killer,” he said of Japanese forward Kyogo Furuhashi, whose two second-half goals secured his team the trophy. “Celtic had some great attacking moves but it's just a simple ball over the top and then scoring at the near post.

“The second one we are really annoyed about. It's not a foul and when it is, the fourth official is holding the board so we just assumed… Jamie Murphy could have stood over the ball as you do but we just assumed it's a sub.

Celtic's Michael Johnston (right) and Hibernian's Paul McGinn battle for the ball during the Premier Sports Cup Final at Hampden (Jane Barlow/PA Wire).

"The referee has no control over the situation and just lets it happen and the goal goes in.

"You can see me running to him straight away and I get myself booked. It's inept.

"Our kitman has handed the board to the fourth official. I'm almost certain that's the case and we see the numbers so we just assume, Jamie Murphy steps back from stopping and we all assume.

“Ninety seconds later Celtic are going to make a sub and Anthony Ralston takes a quick throw-in and he whistles it back for the sub to happen. So he kind of knows, I ran to him and asked him what was going on. There is no way we'd have got that the other way.

"That's when I got booked. It's anger”

There were also strong shouts for a penalty late in the game when Carl Starfelt bundled into Ryan Porteous over and goalkeeper Matt Macey said it is getting harder to accept decisive calls going against them.

“It looked like we had a shout. Big games, key moments, big decisions…we feel a little hard done by, that’s the honest truth. Some big decisions continue to go against us in these big games..

“The only thing we can do is go back to the drawing board and try and come back again.

“Hopefully, next time we’ll get a bit more rub of the green.”

But he revealed that after the disappointment of last season’s Scottish Cup loss, when Hibs shot themselves in the foot with an insipid performance, this time they feel that they played their part in proceeding but were hamstrung by decisions outwith their control.

“Last season there was a real frustration and anger that we didn't turn up on the day, “ explained the Englishman. “A lot of boys said 'look, when we're back again and have to put that right'. We did that in the semi-final, but obviously we wanted to back that up in the final as well.

“This time we defended unbelievably. They had a lot of territory and a lot of the ball, but I only had two saves to make. I didn't feel under pump in goal and that's a credit to the boys in front of me. It's not so much an anger with ourselves, just a frustration.”

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