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McLean mistake spoils another big occasion

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 Steven McLean newsFor the second time in a month a mistake by referee Steven McLean has had a decisive bearing on a big match.

Fresh from his failure to award Inverness Caley Thistle a late penalty in the League Cup Final against Aberdeen McLean wrongly disallowed a late ‘goal’ from Jordan Forster that could have given Hibs a point from the derby at Tynecastle.

Despite the high profile errors the rise and rise of McLean through the ranks is unlikely to be halted with more big match appointments expected for the SFA’s Refereeing Recruitment officer.

Earlier in the season McLean was in charge for Celtic’s 5-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park during which the hoops were denied two obvious penalties for a handball by Stevie Hammell and foul on Teemu Pukki which resulted in the striker being booked for diving.

Hearts were leading 1-0 with time running out when Forster netted with Terry Butcher making his anger clear about the decision.

“It’s made difficult by a decision that’s horrendous,” the Hibs manager said. “The way things are going at the moment, it’s par for the course.

“It’s so disappointing when a great goal gets chalked off when it’s not even close to being offside. We had momentum at that stage, attacking our fans in the second half we felt we could get a goal and go on and win the game.

“I had a few words with the linesman (Alasdair Ross) when we went up the tunnel, but I don’t care to repeat them.”

It remains to be seen whether Butcher will be punished for his comments with the SFA generally preferring not to draw attention to game changing mistakes by their officials, or in McLean’s case employee.

McLean’s brother Brian was a substitute for Ross County yesterday against Celtic and has previously played for Rangers (IL), Motherwell, Falkirk and Dundee United.

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