Shiels rues early setback

PA Sport
Kenny Shiels was sent to the stands during his side's 2-1 defeat to St Johnstone

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Kenny Shiels was sent to the stands during his side's 2-1 defeat to St Johnstone

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels was furious following the early dismissal of Manuel Pascali in their 2-1 home defeat against St Johnstone.

The Rugby Park skipper was ordered off for what was adjudged to be a two-footed challenge on Nigel Hasselbaink in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match. Shiels also received a red card shortly afterwards for protesting against two further decisions following Pascali's red card.

Shiels said: "The young lad, the fourth official (Andrew Dallas) is quite inexperienced and he made the decision, Steve (O'Reilly) got in his ear, which was astonishing that the young lad was influenced like that."

He added: "You could see from the naked eye that he got the ball, then I got sent off for contesting two decisions. I didn't use bad language and was quite clear in my head that I shouldn't be sent off.

"We deserved something out of the game, but switched off for the winning goal - it's so disappointing after being so dominant."

Killie looked to have battled back to earn a point after Michael Nelson headed home seven minutes from time to cancel out Murray Davidson's first-half opener.

The hosts looked the more likely to take all three points after the leveller, but were hit with a late blow when Rowan Vine fired beyond Cammy Bell two minutes before the end.

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas was delighted after witnessing his side grab a late win and also jumped to the defence of Hasselbaink, who felt the wrath of the home supporters following Pascali's sending-off.

Lomas said: "It was a super win, but I must pay Kilmarnock credit for continuing to play two up front and putting us under pressure."

He added: "Nigel didn't roll about after the tackle, his boot was ripped as a result and he got up and played on before eventually having to be substituted."

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