Red card puts Spartans Women’s coach in a rage

Hibs boss Willie Kirk
Hibs boss Willie Kirk
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SPARTANS Manager Debbi McCulloch blasted the standard of Scottish referees after her side crashed to a 5-1 reverse against city rivals Hibernian Ladies.

McCulloch believes an early red card for Louise Mason ended the final Edinburgh derby of the season as a contest and she insists match official Mathilde Peace should have used common sense when dealing with the first half flashpoint.

“I think the standard of refereeing in the women’s game needs to addressed,” fumed McCulloch.

“There have been some crazy decisions – both for and against us this season – that really shouldn’t happen.

“We are all doing so much to improve the women’s game and raise its profile but the standard of refereeing needs looked at.

“Mathilde is one of the better referees and has been involved in the women’s game for a number of years, but I think she was too quick to get out her red card.

“It was only 17 minutes into a derby game where emotions run high and she would’ve benefited from taking a couple of seconds to consider her decision.

“There was nothing malicious in Louise’s challenge. It was late and a booking would’ve sufficed but to give her a red card so early in the game just ruined it.

“Yes, it’s a disappointing way to end the campaign but, as I told the girls afterwards, it doesn’t take anything away from the great season we have had.”

Hibs trio Sarah Laverty (2), Lizzie Arnot (2) and Lucy Graham, all netted as the Easter Road side restored confidence ahead of a Scottish Cup final showdown with Glasgow City in two weeks.

Manager Willie Kirk commented: “It was a harsh decision to produce a red card and no one from our side would’ve complained had she been given a yellow instead.

“From our point of view it was important that we got a positive result going into the Scottish Cup final.

“Because of all the efforts the girls have put in this season I didn’t want us to limp over the line, so it was pleasing to win – particularly with an under-strength side.

“We limited Spartans to very few opportunities and worked hard to deal with their pace down the flanks.”

Elsewhere, Hutchison Vale’s season ended in a 5-2 defeat away to Hamilton Academical in Carluke.