Hearts to appeal Kevin McHattie red card

Dismay: Kevin McHattie is shown the red card by referee Alan Muir. Picture: Jane Barlow
Dismay: Kevin McHattie is shown the red card by referee Alan Muir. Picture: Jane Barlow
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HEARTS have lodged an appeal against Kevin McHattie’s red card against Aberdeen on Saturday. The Tynecastle management believe the left-back was unfairly dismissed by referee Alan Muir in the second half of their 2-1 win and have asked the Scottish Football Association’s judicial panel to examine the incident again.

McHattie was ordered off for denying the Aberdeen substitute Calvin Zola a clear goalscoring opportunity with a challenge inside the penalty area in the 70th minute. He clearly played the ball but was adjudged to have impeded his opponent in the process. McHattie was red carded as Aberdeen were awarded a penalty, which Niall McGinn scored to equalise.

Hearts feel McHattie was harshly treated and today submitted an appeal against the decision. He is free to play until the appeal is considered by the SFA.

Tynecastle officials are also seeking clarification from the SFA on whether captain Danny Wilson was red carded after the final whistle. The defender was called into the referee’s room after Aberdeen complained about a verbal exchange involving several players in the tunnel area at the end of the game. The Evening News understands Wilson was not shown any cards at the time but was told by fourth official Iain Brines that he could expect a letter of complaint from the SFA.

With problems potentially mounting for the Hearts manager Gary Locke, medical staff were due to assess Brad McKay this morning after he was substituted with slight concussion on Saturday. He could be doubtful for tomorrow night’s League Cup tie with Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park.

“Brad had a wee bit of blurred vision so we’ll see how he is,” said Locke. “If he’s not available for Tuesday then it gives me a problem because we’re running out of players. One of the things about Brad is he’s a game lad and he’ll be desperate to play come Tuesday.

“I’ve said all along that, if we get injuries and suspensions, then it’s going to be a difficult task for us. We want to get a good cup run but it is a headache because we haven’t got a big squad.

“After a game like Saturday, you would probably want to freshen things up. If I don’t have that option, we just have to get on with it.”