Hibs plan to appeal Ryan Porteous red card as fears grow over four-match ban ahead of key Hearts and Dundee United matches
The 22-year-old was dismissed midway through the second half, after conceding a penalty, but his manager Shaun Maloney took issue with referee Alan Muir’s decision.
“At the moment I think I will appeal it,” said the Hibs boss. “We’ll look at it on Monday but for me it was incorrect. It’s disappointing because it has a big effect on the game. The other disappointing thing from the set-play is there is a free header, so the player should score in the first instance. Going down to 10 men makes it very difficult.
“The game changed with two decisions. For the first penalty, the ball hits Rocky’s knee before it hits his arm. The rules mean it shouldn’t be a penalty.
“He didn’t see the ball deflect off Rocky’s knee onto his arm. If he’s got that wrong, he says he apologises. But people make mistakes. When we have moments like that, it’s very difficult. But that’s football.
“I think the referee thought Ryan didn’t make an attempt to win the ball but if you look at it back he does go for the ball. He gets the man so it’s a penalty, but the red card is incorrect.
“The two decisions change the game. We weren’t playing fantastically well in the first half but Aberdeen weren’t creating many opportunities. The penalty changed that.”
His team now face the possibility of losing Porteous – who has now been awarded a red card three times this season – just as the league hits a crucial juncture, with two games left before the split and wins now vital against the two teams positioned immediately above them, Dundee United and then Hearts. But Maloney refuted the idea that the dismissal gives credence to the latest criticism of one of his star performers in recent weeks.
"Anyone's comments and quotes about that are irrelevant,” he said.
"The referee got the decision wrong today so I don't think that should be any reflection on what we think about the player.
"He's been really good and for me he has been one of the best defenders in the league.
“We need a big performance against Dundee United but that's something we are more than capable of.”