Dexter Lembikisa avoided 'clear' Hearts red for Celtic James Forrest challenge as ex-refs make serious foul play argument

Dexter Lembikisa avoided a certain red card for a challenge on Celtic's James Forrest, according to two former refs.

The on-loan Hearts right-back challenged for a high ball with the winger with his right leg outstretched and his foot in the air. Forrest went for it with his head and was caught flush on the face by the Jamaica international with the Hoops already two goals up inside half an hour.

Ex-whistlers Des Roache and Steve Conroy run the Behind The Whistles podcast and discussed the challenge on their latest episode. They said: “VAR and Kevin Clancy missed a clear red card for Serious Foul Play. Also disappointing that Sky and Sportscene never included it in their highlights packages."

It comes as the pair also questioned whether Celts captain Callum McGregor should also have seen red. A clip has shone a light on a previously unseen moment in which the midfielder tries to vault a grounded Kenneth Vargas and appears to accidentally stamp on him while landing.

Writing on their podcast's social media page, the referees said: "We spoke on the podcast yesterday about the one on (James) Forrest not shown on highlight packages. We also questioned the lack of VAR review. This is another.

"He’s tried to leap the man on the floor and has caught him. Debatable if reckless Y (yellow card) or SFP (serious foul play). Was worth a check it’s not nothing."