Nicholl: Hibs handed let-off

Kilmarnock assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl felt that both sides

were denied penalties in the 1-1 draw with Hibernian.

Paul Heffernan’s early opener for Killie was cancelled out by

Eoin Doyle, but Hibernian were left fuming when Paul Cairney was

booked after he appeared to be felled by Michael Nelson in the

box.

Nicholl admitted the visitors could have been handed a

spot-kick, but he believes Killie also had good reason to feel

aggrieved after Mahamadou Sissoko appeared to be hauled back in the

box.

“We should have had a penalty in the first half with Sissoko and

maybe they feel they should have had one with Cairney as well, I

don’t know but I will leave the refereeing decisions to the

referee.

“But we are disappointed because we were hoping that after

winning at Aberdeen last week we would have got a wee home run

starting.”

Nelson accepted that the incident could have been interpreted as

a foul and sympathised with Cairney, who must now serve a one-game

ban after a number of cautions.

He said: “There was contact but how far down he was when the

contact was made, I don’t know, we will have to see it again.

“As he slipped the ball to the side he was already going down.

It could have gone either way but the referee seen it so I am not

going to argue.

“But it is probably doubly harsh that the lad got booked as

well.

“Just because the referee doesn’t think it was a penalty doesn’t

automatically make it is a dive so I think it is harsh when it

happens to people.

“It might lead to the lad getting suspension further down the

line so he probably feels hard done by and we wouldn’t feel too

happy if that happened to us.

“But by all accounts there was a penalty (for us) in the first

half when (Mahamadou) Sissoko was pulled back at a corner.”