Hearts’ Ryan McGowan facing ban after Ivan Sproule clash

Hearts derby hero Ryan McGowan could face an immediate two-match ban for his part in an altercation with Hibs winger Ivan Sproule in Monday’s match at Easter Road.

The Scottish FA’s compliance officer Vincent Lunny was today set to review an incident in which McGowan appears to strike Sproule with his head after being fouled by the Northern Irishman during Hearts’ 3-1 win. McGowan headed the game’s opening goal before the clash with Sproule and then went on to supply the long throw from which John Sutton laid the ball on to Andy Webster to make it 2-1 to Hearts.

However, the Australian is adamant Sproule made the incident look worse than it was. “He’s just made a meal of it,” said McGowan. “He [Sproule] just fouled me and you can’t just stand straight up when you get up from the ground.

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“I’ve come up and I was going to go towards him, but he’s gone towards me. It’s more just him walking towards me and me trying to get up.”

Referee Calum Murray, who was 15 yards from the incident when it occurred, did not reprimand Sproule or McGowan by way of either a verbal warning or a yellow card. But, if found guilty after a review, McGowan, who has been deputising for the injured left-back Danny Grainger, could miss the upcoming matches against Auchinleck Talbot and St Mirren.

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