Willie Collum got Hibs and Rangers penalty decisions right but one red card wrong, says former top referee

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Willie Collum got both penalty calls spot-on in Hibs’ 2-2 draw with Rangers – but will look back and change his mind about John Lundstram’s red card, according to a former top-flight referee.

Retired whistler Dermot Gallagher, who spent 15 years keeping order in English Premier League matches, now reviews key decisions in big matches for Sky Sports, and has had his say on the major flashpoints in the incident-packed Scottish Premiership encounter on Saturday.

Collum sent off Gers pair John Lundstram and Alfredo Morelos and awarded the Light Blues a first-half penalty while waving away claims from the Easter Road side for a spot-kick of their own.

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Gallagher gave his thoughts on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch segment, and reckons Collum got both penalty calls right.

On Rangers’ award, following a foul by Rocky Bushiri on Antonio Čolak, he said: "[Bushiri] grabs him around the waist and if referees aren't going to penalise that, you give defenders a free role to do whatever they want. He quite clearly grabs him around the waist. It's a penalty, and a yellow card.”

After viewing Hibs’ claim after James Tavernier appeared to drag down Bushiri at a set-piece the former whistler backed Collum, suggesting that Paul Hanlon seemed to be impeding Tavernier as all three players challenged for the ball from Joe Newell’s free kick.

"There are actually two Hibs players around Tavernier,” Gallagher explained.

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"There’s one behind who leans all over [Tavernier] and the referee doesn't take sides. Does he penalise the Hibs player, does he penalise Tavernier?

Former EPL referee Dermot Gallagher has had his say on Willie Collum's decision-makingFormer EPL referee Dermot Gallagher has had his say on Willie Collum's decision-making
Former EPL referee Dermot Gallagher has had his say on Willie Collum's decision-making

"He decides to play on. I thought it was a good call."

Gallagher also agreed that Morelos deserved to be sent off for catching Marijan Čabraja in the face with his arm.

"I don’t think he can have any complaints whatsoever. He actually feels him out the first time then goes at him a second time,” the ex-ref continued.

"He’s had one go, and it’s quite deliberate. The assistant referee was very, very close and he’s got a great view of it, and I think that’s the key in these incidents.

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"He flags immediately, relays to Willie Collum, ‘he’s caught him in the face with his arm’; feels it’s deliberate, which I do: red card.”

But it wasn’t all praise for Collum, with Gallagher of the opinion that the 43-year-old had ‘got his angles wrong’ when he sent off Lundstram for a lunge on Martin Boyle.

Rangers have lodged an appeal against the red card in a bid to see the punishment downgraded to a caution, and believe a similar challenge on Lundstram by Hibs midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes that incurred a yellow card can help their case.

Gallagher continued: “I can understand why the referee has given a red card but if he looks back on that he will think it wasn’t the tackle he thought it was.

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"Lundstram was very, very unlucky and a yellow card would have been enough. It’s cynical, not dangerous, and it’s not serious foul play.”

On the Doyle-Hayes challenge, Gallagher added: “They’re both yellow cards but I think he sees [Doyle-Hayes’ tackle] as lower and thinks Lundstram is much higher.

"It’s a glancing blow rather than a kick out at the knee but for me they’re both yellow cards.”

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