Tommy Wright blasts Hearts striker for ‘disgraceful’ tackle

Hearts' Abiola Dauda was shown a red card for this challenge on St Johnstone's Liam Craig. Picture: SNS
Hearts' Abiola Dauda was shown a red card for this challenge on St Johnstone's Liam Craig. Picture: SNS
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St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright has branded the challenge made by Hearts hitman Abiola Dauda on Liam Craig as “disgraceful”.

Dauda was shown a straight red card for the tackle, which occurred in the 57th minute of the 2-2 draw at Tynecastle.

Wright and his team were visibly incensed at the incident, which sparked a brief shoving match between players from both sides.

READ MORE - Hearts 2 – 2 St Johnstone: Hearts fight back to secure draw

Once everyone calmed down, referee Greg Aitken dismissed Dauda, who was playing in his final ever Hearts match before returning to Dutch side Vitesse at the expiration of his loan deal.

While Hearts boss Robbie Neilson felt the reaction from the St Johnstone players influenced the referee, Wright was insistent the correct call was made.

He said: “I was furious. It was a an absolutely horrible challenge. They can have no complaints about it. The reaction of our players to his challenge told its own story. It was a disgraceful challenge and it’s something that should not be in the game.”

Both teams were forced to settle for a draw after the pulsating encounter which saw each side score twice in the opening 22 minutes.

An Arnaud Djoum header and Joe Shaughnessy own goal cancelled out a quick-fire St Johnstone double from Graeme Cummins and a Craig penalty.

Though Wright hailed the performance of the referee overall, he lamented the failure of the whistler to give St Johnstone a second spot-kick and the chance to retake the lead in the first half.

He said: “I think the referee had a good game, although Robbie will probably disagree. But I thought he only got one decision wrong all game and that was when Graham Cummins should have had a penalty when Perry Kitchen clearly pushed him.

“It’s a brave referee that gives a penalty for a tug in the box but it was the right decision. But it would take an even braver referee to give two penalties here. Tynecastle would have erupted.”

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