Morton accuse fourth official Kevin Graham of “manhandling” manager David Hopkin

Morton have accused fourth official Kevin Graham of “manhandling” manager David Hopkin and using “foul and abusive language” towards him during yesterday’s tightly-contested Betfred Cup tie against Hibs at Easter Road.

An angry Morton manager David Hopkin was sent to the stands. Picture: SNS

The Championship club’s boss was sent to the stand after questioning an extra-time goal that ultimately ousted his men from the competition and, having branded the decision not to award a foul in the build up to Florian Kamberi’s 104th-minute strike and the subsequent ejection of their manager from the technical area “an absolute disgrace”, the Greenock club have said they will also question the presence of the fourth official at the match.

“It’s an absolute disgrace, the manager has been sent to the stand for no apparent reason,” said Morton assistant Anton McElhone. “He’s a passionate man, but he has not done anything wrong in the game and he’s been sent to the stand by a fourth official who we’re not sure was supposed to be there.”

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“We’re going to go to the SFA and ask them about this because no one here knew there was going to be a fourth official,” added Morton chief executive David McKinnon.

“He’s been brought in at the last minute – and he’s influenced the game in some way. We’re obviously a bit irate about that.

“I will phone John Fleming [the SFA Head of Refereeing] and ask why a fourth official was added at the last minute.

“I also saw the fourth official manhandling our manager during the first half – grabbing him by the arm. If the roles had been reversed there would have been an issue. So why a fourth official feels he can grab a manager by the arm and pull him is beyond me.

“He also used foul and abusive language which was witnessed and will be in the match delegate’s report.”

McElhone added: “We’re at 3-3, it’s extra-time, we’re going for it, we’re trying to win the game. We go on the attack and it’s a clear foul, and we’ve not been given many of them today.

“The manager has been suspended before for supposedly abusing the referee. But he said nothing, he was asking questions, okay in an animated way. The fourth official came over in a manner that was not acceptable.”