London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 03 May 2003 Kilmarnock 1 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Angus Wright auth-> Douglas McDonald
Webster Andy McCann Austin [G McSwegan 31]
5 of 005 ----- L SPL A

Levein braced for SFA action


THE Hearts manager, Craig Levein is on a collision course with the SFA following his withering assessment of referee Dougie McDonald after Saturday’s defeat at Kilmarnock.

Levein said he was "disgusted" with the official’s performance and could discover today if will be called to account for his remarks.

McDonald sent off Hearts defenders Andy Webster and Austin McCann and brandished ten yellow cards during Kilmarnock’s 1-0 win at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Levein is considering an appeal against the McCann dismissal; the left-back was shown a straight red card for a foul on Paul Di Giacomo in injury time.

It is not the first time the Hearts coach has attacked standards of refereeing this season. He was censured and warned by the SFA after comments made about referee Hugh Dallas following the dismissal of Alan Maybury in the 4-0 home defeat by Rangers in December.

The fact he has "previous" will count against Levein and the governing body will look into the matter today. A spokesman for the SFA said: "Due to the Bank Holiday, we will look at the situation tomorrow [Tuesday] to decide if the matter should be referred to the general purposes committee or not."

The result reduced third-placed Hearts’ lead over Kilmarnock to four points with three games remaining. A place in next season’s UEFA Cup is at stake and Levein is not prepared to accept McDonald’s performance.

"Austin McCann said he made a late challenge on the guy, but it was in their half of the pitch and I find it hard to believe he was the last man," the Tynecastle coach said. "If there are grounds for an appeal then we will consider it.

"It was a game in keeping with what was at stake with both teams committed to trying to win the game. It was a typical Premierleague game. I have no gripe whatsoever with Kilmarnock as they were trying to win the match just like us.

"But I was disgusted with the performance of the referee. The flow of the game was continually interrupted.

"People like to see players pass the ball and create goal-scoring opportunities, but the match never got a chance to flow without there being a booking."

Phil Stamp, the Hearts midfielder, could also be in trouble with the SFA after he was similarly scathing of McDonald.

Speaking after the game, Stamp said: "He was the worst referee I have seen in my career. He was terrible."

The flurry of cards at Rugby Park will leave Levein short of players for the run-in. McCann and Webster are both automatically suspended for the match at Celtic on Saturday.

Kevin McKenna, who was deployed as a striker against Kilmarnock, is expected to return to the centre of defence in place of Webster at Celtic Park. If fit, Stephane Mahe may come in for McCann at left-back.

Stamp, who was booked against Kilmarnock, has now gone through the disciplinary points threshold and will miss the final two games of the season against Rangers and Dundee, both of which are at Tynecastle.

Taken from the Scotsman

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