Hibs' Leigh Griffiths unhappy with referee after Scottish Cup final defeat to Hearts

 

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 

 

 

Hibernian striker Leigh Griffiths in action (above top); while referee Craig Thomson sends off Hibs' Pa Kujabi during Hearts' 5-1 win in the Scottish Cup Final (above below)

 

 

Hibernian striker Leigh Griffiths was unhappy with the performance of referee Craig Thomson after his side's Scottish Cup final defeat to Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

The 21-year old forward Griffiths thought awarding a penalty in the first minute of the second half that led to Hearts taking a 3-1 lead was only one of many mistakes from match official Thomson- who is flying out to Euro 2012 as one of twelve European referees partaking in the tournament.

"It's a big match and you need big officials and unfortunately Craig Thomson didn't turn up today," he said.

Television replays showed that Hibs left back Pa Kujabi had fouled Hearts' Suso Santana outside the penalty box. Hibs were also reduced to ten men for the final 42 minutes as Kujabi was shown a second yellow card before Danny Grainger slotted home the penalty for their Edinburgh neighbours. 

"We go in at half-time and say the next goal is crucial and then we come out and, after a minute-and-a-half, the referee gives a stupid penalty," said Griffiths. "We have been told it was nowhere near in the box. So that kind of spoils the game and we are down to 10 men. It's backs against the wall and then we lose a goal three minutes later that effectively kills the game off."

Boyhood Hibs fan Griffiths was also critical of Suso Santana commenting that: "I thought he dived. I'm behind him and I don't think Pa has touched him. I kicked the ball against him in the first half and he went down clutching his face. That's the kind of guy he is."

Griffiths, in addition, admitted that Hearts were the better side overall as they prevented Hibs ending a 110-year wait to lift the Scottish Cup. But he reserved his biggest criticism for the referee, who was confronted by Hibs players and management staff at the sounding of the final whistle at Hampden Park as Hearts ran out comfortable 5-1 winners.

"People are saying he should have sent Ian Black off for the challenge on me early on - I thought he should at least have got a booking. Five minutes later, Pa Kujabi puts in a fair challenge and he gets booked. I don't want to talk about the ref, it's just a bitter blow. To lose a cup final is bad but to lose against Hearts, especially 5-1, is a hammer blow to take," added the on-loan Wolves striker who is now set to return to Molineux now that the season has come to a close.

 

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