Hibs can blame defeat on no one but themselves

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HIBS can have no-one to blame but themselves for defeat at Hampden, but their fans will still be less than happy with the performance of Craig Thomson.

The referee was already an unpopular figure among the Easter Road supporters’ ranks as Hibs had lost every one of their six SPL games that he had officiated this season.

Following more controversial decisions on Saturday, the record doesn’t make for any better reading today.

The cup final whistler had three major calls to make, the first being his decision not to show an early card to Ian Black.

The Hearts midfielder clattered into Leigh Griffiths as they rose for the ball, but Thomson chose to give the player a talking to instead of a booking. On another day, Black might have found himself heading for the bath after just ten minutes.

Five minutes later, Pa Kujabi was booked for a fairly innocuous challenge on Suso Santana before Hibs’ claims for a penalty were waved away after Danny Grainger appeared to pull Garry O’Connor back in the box.

Seconds after the restart, Thomson did award a penalty kick, but in the Tynecastle side’s favour, despite the fact there seemed to be little in the tug from Kujabi on Suso.

The Spaniard seemed to trip himself up and, in any case, television pictures confirmed that the challenge itself had been outside the box.

The referee, having blown, had no other option than to show the Hibs defender his second yellow of the game.

In the final minute, Thomson sent Pat Fenlon to the stand for an alleged gesture to the Hearts support. As the final whistle sounded, the referee was confronted by Hibs’ coaching and playing staff to complain about some of his decisions.