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Nick Montgomery expresses anger over Hibernian’s denied penalty against Celtic, which resulted in Martin Boyle receiving a yellow card and sustaining an injury.



ick Montgomery railed against what he claimed was inconsistency after Celtic earned a late winning penalty at Easter Road after a VAR review.

The Hibs manager saw Martin Boyle booked by referee Nick Walsh for simulation in the second half. The forward fell under a challenge from Celtic left-back Alexandro Bernabei while driving through on goal.

Asked his understanding of what had happened at that moment, when the score was 1-1 after Hibs had equalised through Dylan Levitt, Montgomery replied that it was not his ‘understanding’ – it is what he knew had happened.

“I watch plenty of incidents and watching it back in slow motion he gets caught from behind on his quad and he has a dead leg,” he said. “He is limping around in there. They are sore ones. It’s irrelevant how he goes down. He has been caught from behind and that has knocked him off balance and whether he goes down on one leg, two legs or head-first if that is seen by VAR and the ref looks at it he has no option but to give the penalty.

“Martin is nursing a dead leg and hopefully he is around for the weekend, but to get booked for it as well…again it is more disappointment.

“I didn’t speak to the referee. I shook his hand at the end of the game. It is irrelevant what I say to the referee. It is not going to change the result. But maybe he will go back and review the game and maybe be disappointed with some of the decisions he did and didn’t make.”

It was a crushing defeat for Hibs, who had reacted well after going behind inside ten minutes from the first of Adam Idah’s pair of penalties. Dylan Levitt’s drive from the edge of the box levelled matters after an hour but Idah’s late penalty, after Joe Newell was adjudged to have impeded Kyoho Furuhashi, saw Celtic claim all three points and earn manager Brendan Rodgers his first Easter Road victory.

Montgomery was angry that this incident was reviewed and not the one for the Boyle penalty appeal. He bristled when asked if the Australian international player’s reputation had gone against him again.

“It is a penalty,” he said. “If you are very quick and someone catches you it is easier to go down off balance, I remember the game when we beat Kilmarnock and he was whacked from behind and he carried on stumbling and we carried on and scored the goal.

“Martin is not someone who goes down. He is very quick. When he gets contact it is very hard to stay on your feet. I can’t agree with you.”

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