SPFL’s new VAR system has got off to a smooth start in the Hibs-St Johnstone Premiership clash
Scottish football entered a bold new era after VAR made their debut in Friday night’s clash between Hibs and St Johnstone at Easter Road.
It was a positive start for the new technology as the game proceeded without major controversy. On-field referee Kevin Clancy was assisted by VAR Willie Collum and together they got all the important decisions right.
A historic night for Scottish football saw no major delays or drama as some feared as St Johnstone triumphed 2-1 thanks to goals from Nicky Clark and Stevie May.
On-field referee Kevin Clancy was joined by VAR Willie Collum at Easter Road on Friday night
VAR reviewed all three goals – including Mykola Kukharevych’s Hibs opener – and each time a decision was made quickly.
The technique was used for the first time in the seventh minute when Hibs striker Martin Boyle fell in the penalty area. Clancy’s initial decision was to book Boyle to dive – and Collum was quick to confirm the decision after a quick review.
Hibs midfielder Kyle Magennis was sent off in the 70th minute but VAR didn’t intervene as it was a second booking. VAR can only intervene on four fronts – direct red cards, penalty decisions, goals and any cases of mix-ups.
With two minutes left, Hibs striker Jair Tavares was flagged for offside but before play was stopped Boyle was obliterated in the box by a Saints defender. Clancy waited while a VAR check took place, with the narrow offside being approved by Collum and his team.
The technique was used for the first time in the seventh minute when Hibs striker Martin Boyle fell in the penalty area
Hibs manager Lee Johnson reluctantly gave VAR the thumbs-up despite claims of a foul leading up to Clark’s equalizer for St Johnstone.
Leith’s men had deservedly taken the lead through Kukharevych ten minutes before the break but missed opportunities to fall behind.
Magennis’s dismissal for two bookings turned the game back in Saints’ favour. Clark equalized three minutes later when he headed into Melker Hallberg’s corner – a goal that stood despite Ryan Porteous’ protestations about a shove in the back.
Saints left the game with three points with eight minutes remaining thanks to May’s efforts.
Johnson admitted he couldn’t complain about how VAR was being used. He said: “For their first, Porto (Porteous) is convinced he took one in the back.
“He stabs you in the back. There’s no doubt about that, but even with a bias it looks a bit soft to give us a foul.
VAR reviewed all three goals and came to a quick decision each time
“It’s difficult, because how do we really know how much effort went into it? There are two hands in the lower back but it doesn’t look like enough power for VAR to change the decision, which clearly happened.
“I thought VAR was fine. I assume you’re looking for that justice. I don’t think we were at the mercy of any teething problems. It seemed fine.
“I didn’t like the check when we scored. You still have those anxious few minutes. Well, it feels like a few minutes of waiting. But they made the right decision. I think overall for a first game you have to give credit to the officials both here and in Glasgow in the office.
On his team’s ad, Johnson was less polite, adding: “It’s hard to take. The games last 96 minutes and you have to make good decisions for 96 minutes.
“We made very good decisions in the first half and were the dominant team. We have our attacking spirit and we push back.
“Where we fall short too often is that last ball.
VAR did not intervene when Hibs midfielder Kyle Magennis was sent off in the 70th minute
“I remember seven or eight where a well-executed pass leads to an easy chance. That’s bound to make the difference where we finish this season.’
Saints manager Callum Davidson, whose team are now four points ahead of Kilmarnock, Dundee United and Ross County at the bottom of the Premiership table, admitted he had seen his side react after applying the blow-dry treatment at half-time after a dismal start would have. half show.
He said: “The first half was as angry as it has been since I’ve been in charge. Maybe I should yell at her more often. I really don’t want to.
“I don’t accept the levels of performance in the first half, more attitude than anything. We were really poor and I asked for a reaction.
“The substitutions and sending off helped. We controlled the game well and I’m really happy about the three points for this great travel support.
“I definitely got the reaction I wanted. It was great to see my two forwards score after we both took the lead in the second half. We showed the will to win tackles, win headers, push, save the ball. Everything, really. I could go on.
“This is a very difficult place. Sometimes it’s difficult to play against ten men.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11342525/SPFLs-new-VAR-gets-smooth-start-Premiership-clash-Hibs-St-Johnstone.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 SPFL’s new VAR system has got off to a smooth start in the Hibs-St Johnstone Premiership clash