Hamilton tackled like rugby team, says Hibs' Marvin Bartley
Marvin Bartley has joined Neil Lennon in attacking what the Hibs boss branded 'caveman' tactics by Hamilton, claiming he hadn't seen such tackles since playing schools' rugby.
And the Easter Road midfield powerhouse backed up Lennon’s assertion that referee Don Robertson was too weak to take control of a game in which five Accies players were shown the yellow card.
The Capital club were forced to settle for a draw after Antonio Rojano’s header cancelled out Simon Murray’s 14th goal of the season, Bartley adamant he’d been fouled in the build-up to it by Dougie Imrie.
Affirming he would have been just as upset had Hibs gone on to win the match, he said: “Yes, because I am cut everywhere. I thought we played very well in the first half and in the second I thought they got a bit more physical to say the very least.
“We had a ref a few weeks ago – I won’t bring his name up – but he was shocking and we won that game so I’m not sitting here moaning that we should win every game.
“We needed a strong ref in the middle to control the game, unfortunately we didn’t have that.”
Asked of Lennon’s unhappiness at some of the challenges, Bartley quipped: “He wasn’t on the receiving end, so imagine how we feel. I am a physical player myself, but I play within the rules of the game.
“Some of the tackles were shocking. John McGinn had a few, he was kicked off the ball as well, Dylan [McGeouch] was swiped in the box and the ref said he was not touched. At our goal they’ve kicked out twice at Brandon [Barker]. There were many of them.
“When I played rugby at school it got physical like that. That was the last time.”
However, while annoyed at Accies’ style of play, Bartley claimed Robertson had allowed them to get away with it while warning such leniency tempts players into taking matters into their own hands.
He said: “It’s up to the ref to control the game. If they can get away with it, fair play to them. You just hope for that bit of control.
“If you are going to get away with something the more you push and keep doing it and it gets worse and worse. I can’t have a go at Hamilton for doing it, maybe just a bit more control; someone to implement the rules of the game, to be a bit firmer at times, and it didn’t happen.
“I’m sure if you speak to their players they’ll probably have a wee laugh and say they did push it.”
Asked what players themselves could do in such a situation, Bartley said: “You don’t want to go to those levels and do it to other professional footballers, but there’s going to come a point and it was going to get that way.
“I’ve been sent off a couple of times for coughing on players and had the red cards rescinded but if that’s the way we are going to play then I am up for it and maybe it is time we started protecting ourselves.”
Bartley, however, admitted that if Hibs had put their chances away they’d have won a game which would have taken them into second place in the Premiership table for 24 hours at least.
“They’ve had one shot at goal, and we’ve missed a few chances. We can say it was physical and say there was no-one in the middle officiating.
“But if we had put our chances away we would have won.”