Before I go on, Celtic were poor by our normal standards in yesterday’s Derby match. Having said that, a 30% Hoops team against a 100% Sevco, playing at their level best, were minutes away from winning the game, no thanks to the man in the middle.
I know big Jock said something about if you’re better than the opposition then the referee doesn’t matter, but to be honest I don’t buy into that. And yesterday’s performance by Bobby Madden goes a long way to prove my point.
With only minutes on the clock, Kenny Miller sprinted into a two footed lunge that if it had connected, would have put an end to Stuart Armstrong’s career. Luckily the Celtic player saw it coming and got out of the way.
As you can see from the pic about, Millers off the ground and totally out of control. In any other game it’s straight red card, but just like last week with Garner, normal rules don’t apply.
To put Sevco down to ten men so early in the game would have made the job even more difficult for Madden’s favourite team, and he knew that. However, yesterday he was employed by the SFA to referee a football match, not support his team.
He chose the former.
From that moment on, the Celtic support prepared ourselves for the worst, and Brother Bobby duly obliged. His sporadic booking of Sevco players only came after multiple offences had taken place. And even then he failed to apply the rules by issuing a second yellow card in particular to Jason Holt and Clint Hill.
Holt’s two footed, over the ball assault of Paddy Roberts merited a red card in itself, never mind a yellow, but Madden ignored it, allowed Holt to play on then book Mikel Lustig for protesting.
Despite all this Celtic were leading 1-0 until the 87th minute when slack defending allowed the aging Hill to grab an equaliser. At this point I wasn’t sure if Madden was going to celebrate along with the players, it certainly wouldn’t have come as a surprise!
Not content with a draw Celtic surged forward looking for a winner. A long punt by Craig Gordon was chased down by substitute Leigh Griffiths, who was scythed waist high by Hill, for what was a stonewall penalty.
In his last act of defiance, brother Bobby waived play on. By this time he couldn’t care less about any professionalism, he was acting as a supporter and he was determined Sevco were getting at least a point.