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Derek McInnes furious with red card decision as Kilmarnock let lead slip

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Jan 2024

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Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes criticised referee Grant Irvine’s decision to send off Corrie Ndaba after his side surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Hibernian at Rugby Park.

Killie took the lead through a Dylan Vente own goal and Matty Kennedy added a second before Joe Newell pulled one back with a sensational volley.

Ndaba was then shown a red card for a foul on Jair Tavares, with referee Grant Irvine upgrading his yellow to red after being advised by VAR Nick Walsh to consult the pitchside monitor.

And it would prove costly as substitute Myziane Maolida fired home a late equaliser to salvage a point for Hibs.

McInnes said: “For Nick Walsh and VAR to get involved in that, I find it disappointing and strange. Unless there is a different angle I’ve not seen, it’s not dangerous or violent.

“He’s not high, he’s not going in at excessive speed or going in to hurt the boy. Yes, there is a follow through but what is Corrie meant to do?

“It’s not his fault Tavares’ leg is there but he’s not tried to stamp or anything – he’s won the ball. I don’t even think it’s a yellow card. The ref did and that should have sufficed.

“It changed the course of the game. Hibs might have been good enough to get something out of the game. Joe Newell scores an unbelievable goal and it gave them a lifeline. But the red card also gave them a bigger lift.

“Whether VAR has gone for or against me, I have always said the same thing. Let the referee ref the game. Don’t get involved unless you really need to – and I have not seen that with this challenge.

“This wasn’t what VAR was meant for. It was for the big decisions. The referees are not being referees any more. They are not getting the chance to referee what they see.”

Hibernian manager Nick Montgomery was full of praise for the character of his side.

“The second goal came totally against the run of play and it’s disappointing to concede that goal but from that point you either crumble or you stand big and I thought there were some really big performances in that second half,” he said.

“The first goal gave us belief and Myziane when he came on – you can see the guy is a top-quality player. He needs to get fit, he’s not played since November but he caused all sorts of problems and deserved his goal.

“It was actually really disappointing not to come away with the three points. (Christian) Doidge has an open goal at the end and that’s his bread and butter – looks like it’s going in then just drops wide.

“We’ll take the point though. It’s a difficult place to come and we’ll take that confidence.”

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