Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom rails against referee and Olivier Ntcham

A seething Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom accused referee Kevin Clancy of letting down the players, fans and everyone at the club following the 1-1 draw with Celtic at Easter Road.

Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom is led away after being sent off during the 1-1 draw at Easter Road. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

Heckingbottom was sent to the stand following a row with fourth official Nick Walsh, who had highlighted a foul on James Forrest and halted a home attack. Celtic scored their equaliser from the resultant set-piece and the Hibs boss kicked out at a water bottle and accidentally hit the assistant referee.

“I shouldn’t have done that,” Heckingbottom admitted. “But [I was sent off] for confronting the fourth official, like I say because it was him who gave that goal. There was a swear word in there but I said it was his fault. That’s what I said.”

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But if he was irked by his sending off, he was livid that Olivier Ntcham had not seen red as well after the Celtic midfielder raised his hands, connecting with Hibs’ Josh Vela.

“He should have been sent off three times. For the three punches. That is the worst one and that is the biggest injustice.

“Listen, there is an incident, a couple of arms thrown. He can claim he hasn’t seen it, fine, but he is actually stood right there between the two players when the third one comes in on the end of his chin, so you tell me why it isn’t a sending off.

“Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has bad games. But there was something different about that. That wasn’t right. That is what has let everyone at this club down.”

Raking over the ashes of a combustible match, which had seen Hibs take the lead through a Kristoffer Ajer own goal, Celtic manager Neil Lennon also expressed his frustration with the officiating.

“While I’m not here to criticise referees we should have had two clear-cut penalties,” said Lennon. “Not one, two.

“The linesman is right there, 15 yards away when Daryl Horgan has taken out Moritz Bauer as he’s gone to cross it and Lewis Stevenson has taken out Ryan Christie as he’s gone to cross it. It’s two penalties, at least give us one.”

“We deserve that, we earned the right to a penalty.

“The linesman is 10-15 yards away and has a great view of it.

“We are 40 yards away and still have a great view of it and you know when a foul is a foul.

“But the reaction was good and we really tried to force the issue in the second half but it wasn’t to be today.”

It was the first time this season that Celtic have dropped points in the league but Lennon was not downhearted.

“It was a good performance. I am not going to criticise the players,” he said. “We have made a tremendous start to the season.”