Hibs reaction: Nick Montgomery laments Rangers 'unnecessary drama' and gives update on Martin Boyle condition

Hibs conceded a penalty and had two men sent off during defeat by Rangers

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery lamented what he described as “unnecessary drama” as his nine-man side were bundled out of the Scottish Cup at the quarter-final stage by Rangers.

The Easter Road side recently felt the need to demand a meeting with the SFA amid their contention they had been on the wrong end of a series of wrong decisions. Hibs claimed they were given an apology for at least one wrong call, when they were denied a penalty against Aberdeen last month after the ball struck Nicky Devlin’s arm. The frustrated Montgomery has now questioned the penalty decision that saw Rangers take the lead in an eventful Scottish Cup last eight tie at Easter Road, with Jordan Obita clipping Dujon Sterling’s heels as the Rangers wing-back raced towards goal.

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Obita was later red carded for a second bookable offence after catching Rabbi Matondo with a trailing arm. Nathan Moriah-Welsh received his marching orders two minutes later for upending John Lundstram with a sliding tackle, with the player deemed to be out of control by referee Steven McLean. “Jordan is an experienced player so, if he has done something that is deemed a yellow card, you don’t want that,” said Montgomery. “Nathan is just 21-years-old, he’s new to first team football. And, to be honest, it was right in front of me. I’ve got a lot of respect for John Lundstram. He’s a top, top player. But I though the way he went down, Nathan didn’t catch him.

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery looks dejected during the 2-0 defeat by Rangers.Hibs manager Nick Montgomery looks dejected during the 2-0 defeat by Rangers.
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery looks dejected during the 2-0 defeat by Rangers.

“I’ve seen that one back and he’s gone across him to try to block him playing a ball down the line, probably knock it out for a throw-in. But John has gone down. And the referee was very quick to give the card. To be honest, I was really surprised he didn’t go to the VAR monitor to have a look, considering it was three metres from where the incident happened.”

Montgomery noted that “you can talk about whether it is a penalty or whether it is not a penalty,” but he stressed that Hibs don't seem to be given such 50-50 decisions. Indeed, as recently as the 2-1 defeat against Celtic at Easter Road last month they had been denied one in similar circumstances, when Martin Boyle was clipped. Indeed, he was booked for diving.

“A couple of weeks ago, against Celtic, we had the exact same incident with Martin Boyle – a quick winger running inside, the full-back chasing … but Martin gets a yellow card and we get a penalty given against us today. You see incidents like that … and it does just baffle you at times. Obviously he’s slowed down to initiate the contact from Jordan. I can’t say whether it was or wasn’t a penalty – but it wasn’t a penalty for us a few weeks ago and it was a penalty tonight. That’s disappointing.”

Montgomery offered an update on Boyle, who was stretchered off towards the end of the first half and taken straight to hospital after a collision with Rangers defender John Souttar. Boyle appeared to hit his head on the turf, which resulted in a near seven-minute stoppage as medics from both Hibs and Rangers tended to the stricken player. “I’ve just had a report that Martin is stable and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “Football is just a game and while Martin’s an important player for us, he’s a human being too. I think it’s a bit of concussion and maybe a little bit of neck pain. Fingers crossed he makes a speedy recovery because he was in a bit of pain.”