Brian Rice says there’s ‘no debate’ over the fact Hamilton should have faced a ten-man Celtic for a period of their meeting with the champions.
Accies eventually lost 4-1, despite a valiant effort with ten men themselves. Marios Ogkmpoe handed them an unlikely lead before Jamie Hamilton was dismissed for bringing Leigh Griffiths down as he made his way through on goal. The teenager will now miss matches against St Mirren and Motherwell through suspension.
Odsonne Edouard scored from the resulting free kick but Accies managed to hold the scoring until the 78th minute. Three goals were then netted after this period as Rice’s men went down swinging.
It could’ve been so different though. Griffiths appeared to stamp on defender Sam Woods early on before shoving Alex Gogic, but only a yellow was shown to Celtic’s frontman.
Rice has been left bemused as to how that incident only warranted a yellow card: “A big decision from the referee changed the game. I thought my boys fought heroically.
— Hamilton Accies FC (@acciesfc) February 2, 2020
“At 1-0, everything we worked on was good. I think it was very harsh how it ended up and they defended stoutly. But the biggest talking point was the refereeing decision.
“I don’t think there’s any debate that it was a red card for Griffiths. There’s no debate, but my opinion doesn’t matter. The only opinion that matters is the referees. He’s called it the way he sees it.
“I can’t speak to the referee at this moment time but we move on. He may look at it and think he’s made a mistake, or he may look at it and think he’s got that right. In my humble opinion, I don’t think there’s any debate.
“We were coping really well and instead of it being 11 v 10 for us, it ended up being 10 v 11. That decision from the ref changes the whole complexion of the game.”