Graham Alexander claims Hibs players 'manhandled' referee as he bemoans non-penalty call

Motherwell boss Graeme Alexander has accused Hibs players of “manhandling” referee Willie Collum and doing their best to get one of his players sent off.

The hosts were reduced to ten men inside the first minute at Fir Park as Bevis Mugabi was shown a straight red for a dangerous lunge on Josh Doig, a tackle which forced the Hibs player from the action a short time later. Jordan Roberts was fortunate not to follow his team-mate up the tunnel just five minutes later with a near carbon-copy challenge on Drey Wright.

The away players were furious with the tackle as they implored the referee to take action against the big defender, something which rankled with the opposing manager.

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Hibs used their advantage to full effect as Elias Melkersen scored twice on his full debut to put Shaun Maloney’s side into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

Bevis Mugabi is shown a straight red card by Willie Collum after his foul on Josh Doig. Picture: SNS

It’s the second time in successive matches between the clubs in Lanarkshire in which Motherwell had a player sent off after Liam Donnelly was given his marching orders in the 0-0 draw between the sides earlier this month.

Alexander also questioned whether Motherwell should have received a penalty as he accused goalkeeper Matt Macey of deliberately elbowing Ricki Lamie after claiming a high ball.

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“I have no opinion on the red card. I see challenges, I see players bumping referees, manhandling them and adding fuel to the fire just like the last time we played Hibs here but nothing’s done so that’s all I can say,” said Alexander.

“I don’t want to take the shine away from how well my players did today. You neutrals are in a position to comment on what happened.

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“The last time we played Hibs we were down to ten men and it was the same. It’s been a thing. Their goalkeeper might have been dealt with differently for his challenge on Ricki Lamie, which could have been a penalty but I’m dreaming, aren’t I?”

“I just hear explanations about people getting warnings. But we don’t get warnings: we get dealt with straight away. We just have to take it on the chin because I like being on the touchline and I want to stay there.

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“It’s sad if all the headlines are about this rather than about two good teams trying to get into a semi-final but I’m guessing that won’t be the case because that’s what the scenario is.”

Asked about Macey getting booked for time-wasting, he said: “Oh, right. He didn’t get anything for elbowing Lamie in the stomach then? I must have missed that one.

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“But I’m so proud of my team. Imagine what we could have done with 11 men. It was all about belief and our fans were magnificent. They came down to the training ground yesterday and showed their support and they clapped us off at the end because they knew what happened here today.

“It’s not the first time it’s happened against Hibs: it’s actually the third time this season but there it is.”

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