The first incident, and the one which likely would have changed the entire direction of the match, came when Wes Foderingham handled outside the penalty area under pressure from Rakish Bingham. The goalkeeper definitely touched the ball with his hands outside the area, and it should be a free-kick and red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
There are two likely reasons why the officials got this one wrong. Firstly, it’s quite different from typical fouls of this kind. Usually it’s a goalkeeper coming outside the area to block the ball going past him. In such instances the lines are more clearly defined. The ball is stopped in its path by the keeper, so it’s easier to tell when the contact is made. In this case, Foderingham and the ball are both travelling into the area. He begins his movement a couple of yards outside, and ends a couple of yards inside with the ball in his hands. Deciphering where first contact is made on the ball is much trickier (GIF).
The second reason is the speed in which the incident occurs. The quick ball over the top does seem to catch the referee out a little and, even more importantly, it initially looks like the Rangers players are going to deal with it easily. Beaton looks as if he’s briefly switched off at this point. He never breaks out of a jog and is a good 25-30 yards away when Foderingham handles it. He should have had help from his linesman, though. It’s difficult to tell exactly where the assistant is, but Bingham’s reaction (Image One) would suggest he has kept up with play.
At the Toral penalty incident, it’s hard to distinguish whether there’s any real contact. What would have swayed Beaton into making the decision was the fact that Grant Gillespie made a challenge inside the area, didn’t get the ball, and his opponent hit the deck.
It’s been stated that Gillespie stood on Toral’s foot, or that his arm around the Rangers’ midfielder’s waist was enough for a foul. But none of these appear to have thrown Toral off balance in the manner in which he goes down. It just appears that he loses his balance.
The general consensus is that this incident was one Beaton got right. Not for me.
That brings us to Joe Garner’s challenge. Undoubtedly he should have been sent off. It was clumsy rather than deliberately violent, but the sheer force of it is enough to make it a red. Watching it in real-time, the sound of the challenge alone should have been enough for the red card to come straight out - it was a brutal thud. Similar to the last incident, it’s very difficult to make an argument as to why he didn’t bring out the red card.
The only thing is that it looked and sounded ten times worse than it actually was. Garner clips him on the backside with his follow through, but the bulk is made on Imrie’s torso. Though players converged around the incident, it wasn’t all that aggressive, which gave Beaton more time. Perhaps a little too much time as he maybe overthought this. It was a textbook example of using excessive force, which should result in a red card.
• Craig Anderson is a former fully qualified referee. He is also the man behind SPL Stats on Twitter.