Ben Williams today told of how he confronted Hearts star Jamie Walker after taking exception to the Tynecastle youngster’s derby day celebrations in front of the Hibs support.
The Easter Road goalkeeper and Walker, an unused substitute as Hearts defeated their Capital rivals 2-0, were seen exchanging angry words after the final whistle, with Williams’ team-mate Jordon Forster rushing to intervene as referee Steven McLean kept a close eye on the spat.
Hearts’ victory meant Gary Locke’s players avoided the nightmare scenario of having Hibs condemn them to Championship football, but Terry Butcher’s players were left raging having had a perfectly good Forster goal chopped off as assistant referee Alasdair Ross raised his flag for offside. Television cameras showed Forster was clearly onside.
But after Alan Maybury was sent off for a second bookable offence, Hearts sub Billy King rounded Williams to score a second for the Gorgie outfit, sparking wild scenes among the home players and fans. However, in Williams’ eyes Walker went over the score, the Hibs No. 1 saying: “I just did not appreciate his gesturing and celebrating to our fans. I walked over and asked him politely to take himself in before he got himself into any bother.
“He took exception to that and I took exception to his reaction. It was a bit of nothing, but I just did not appreciate him celebrating in front of our fans. I did not see all of it, but I saw enough to say ‘look, you need to take yourself in because in this day and age you can get yourself into bother for doing it’.
“I know emotions were high and he was happy. I don’t know if he made it on to the pitch or not but he definitely made it on at the end and I think sometimes it’s a bit unnecessary.”
While Locke admitted Hearts had enjoyed a slice of luck with Ross’s blunder, Butcher and his players were livid, the Hibs boss describing the gaffe as “horrendous, unbelievable”, before adding: “It wasn’t even close to being offside. It was a great header, a great goal and it was chopped of when it should never have been. We had momentum at that stage, attacking the end where our fans were and I felt if we could get one goal we would perhaps get more and go on to win the game.
“I don’t know what was going through his mind, it was a poor call – it wasn’t as if it was even marginal.”