Hibs boss Nick Montgomery insists VAR made a mockery of his team’s Viaplay Cup semi-final loss to Aberdeen – by ruling Martin Boyle offside when the striker was shown to be level with a Dons defender.
And he was left utterly baffled by the video assistant referee not even looking at a strong penalty claim by Dylan Vente – “virtually rugby tackled” by keeper Kelle Roos, according to Monty - as Hibs lost 1-0 against ten men from the Granite City.
Montgomery bemoaned a lack of “common sense” in the application of the offside rule, especially – and said he’d seen evidence that Boyle’s goal early in the second half should have been allowed to stand.
Commenting on the lengthy delay that ended with referee John Beaton chalking off the ‘opener’, he declared: “I have just looked back at it - and I don’t see how he is offside. The lines are virtually touching the defender and him.
“There is one defender with his foot in the exact same line as Martin Boyle. Again, these are the disappointing things.
“When it’s that tight, it never seems to go in favour of the attacker, it always goes in favour of the defending team.
“If you are going to draw a line there and it matches up with a striker and attacker, and you rule it offside, that’s disappointing.
“I felt he was onside - and it was a goal when we were well on top.
“I just want to see common sense. If it takes four or five minutes to make a decision, it’s not clear and obvious.
“If that’s the situation, it should go in favour of the attacker. I’ve always felt that.
“They’re deliberating for five or six minutes, can’t really make a decision – so the easiest decision is just to rule it offside. That’s disappointing.
“And then the penalty incident. How that wasn’t looked at on the screen …
“From where I am the keeper has spilled the ball and Dylan Vente got there before him and touches the ball - and is virtually rugby tackled in the box.
“For that just to be waved away and not even looked at ... The rules of the game are you can’t make contact with an opposing player in the box.
“I felt at least one of those two incidents could have gone our way and that would have changed the reflection of the game.
“With the offside, I have only just seen it back on the iPad. The line is virtually on him and the defender. Five or six minutes for that decision to be made means it is not clear and obvious. It has definitely not gone in the favour of the attacker.
“They are going to keep taking goals away. And incidents like that is going against what should really happen. But I don’t think anyone can watch that game tonight and not feel we have been harshly done by.
“I thought we played well enough to get to the final. We had a lot of quality today, we hurt them down the sides a lot.
“Some of the decisions there are still a little bit baffling. I’ve just watched them again – and I feel like we’ve been pretty harshly done by.
“Then it’s just one counterattack at the end. We need to be smart.
“Maybe it’s a foul on Lewis Miller but, at that moment, we need to slow the game down. We weren’t game smart; it’s just one counterattack and we go a goal down.
“I thought we were definitely the better team and lost the game on one moment, a lapse of concentration. That’s football.
“I’m hurting, the boys are hurting, the fans are hurting. We lost it with a sloppy moment, a moment we could have avoided.
“We didn’t get the decisions we possibly should have. But we have to dust ourselves down. We have two big games next week before the next international break.”