Hearts interim manager Steven Naismith felt referee David Dickinson got three major decisions wrong in his side’s 2-2 draw with St Mirren.
The 10-man Jambos earned an unlikely point when second-half goals from Josh Ginnelly and a Lawrence Shankland penalty deep into added time cancelled out first-half strikes from Joe Shaughnessy and Ryan Strain.
Naismith praised his players for battling back to salvage something from the match but felt their cause had not been helped by the match officials.
He disputed the red card shown to Peter Haring midway through the second half and the free-kick won by St Mirren that led to their second goal, while he also felt that Haring should have had a penalty early in the second period.
Naismith said: “For me it is three decisions (the referee got wrong). At the red card, VAR is involved in that as well, but I personally disagreed with it.
“I thought it was a foul to stop the game from a counter-attack. It was right in front of me, I didn’t think it was aggressive or even the speed I don’t think is excessive.
“The foul for the second (St Mirren) goal, I don’t agree with. I’m fortunate enough to have seen it again. Hilly (James Hill) just goes and wins the ball but yet we get given a foul against us and it cost us.
“I think we could also have had a penalty. This is our footage but I can see a clear pull on Peter Haring who is going into the area where the ball is going. I said last week I was frustrated (with the match officials) and I’m frustrated again this week because of a lack of consistency.
“The ref was really good at the end of the game, allowing me to speak to him and have a discussion and a conversation about it which is fine. I get his point of view and his team’s point of view but it doesn’t help us (in the chase) for three points.”
Meanwhile, Stephen Robinson felt that St Mirren’s progress this season could be measured by the fact they were disappointed at only drawing with Hearts.
The result severely dents the Paisley side’s chances of qualifying for Europe but Robinson felt a sense of perspective was needed.
He said: “It feels like a defeat but when we’re disappointed with a point against Hearts it tells you how far St Mirren have come. The circumstances with the game practically done make it hard to take but I’ll get round the boys and we’ll speak to them. There are lessons to be learned for everyone, but ultimately we should’ve seen the game out.”
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