Stuart McCall should have no complaints over Shaun Hutchinson’s dismissal last weekend, despite the Motherwell boss’s adamant stance that the referee got it wrong.
Hutchinson was shown a red card for the second time in a week after treading on the back of Thomas Reilly’s ankle as opponents St Mirren chased a late equaliser at Fir Park. Referee Euan Norris immediately brandished a second yellow to give the centre-back his marching orders, a decision McCall disagreed with.
“Hutchinson’s distraught,” McCall told BBC Scotland. “He feels guilty for letting us down, which he’s not done. He’ll learn from his first booking, I’ve had a go at him [for that].
“If you’re booking people for tackles like that, I think that’s wrong,” condemned the Motherwell boss.
Yet replays on sites such as Unibet sport news suggest Norris’s decision was right, with Hutchison planting six studs through his opponent’s ankle. The foul was committed on the edge of the area as St Mirren were coming forward in search of an equaliser and the defender had already been booked for petulant behaviour earlier in the game.
To make matters worse, Hutchinson’s departure created a huge gap in Motherwell’s back line that their opponents utilised to great extent. St Mirren dominated the game with 65% of the ball and peppered Darren Randolph’s goal; an equaliser was the least that they deserved.
It was somewhat fitting therefore that 17-year-old Reilly’s stoppage-time finish came from the place Hutchinson would have been standing were he still on the field.
McCall admits he has spoken to the referee and understands the decision to dismiss Hutchinson, yet still should not defend the challenge his centre-half made. It was a reckless attempt to win the ball and cost his side three points, and although it is commendable that McCall stands up for his player, there is really only one man to blame.
What do you think? have you seen the tackle? Was the referee right to give him his marching orders?