Celtic’s Lennon irate as referee ‘costs’ his side treble

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes referee Willie Collum has ‘cost’ his side this season’s Scottish treble.

The Hoops yesterday were beaten 1-0 by Kilmarnock in the League Cup final at Hampden but Lennon believes that his side should have had a penalty as they looked to equalise Dieter van Tornhout’s 84th-minute header.

According to Lennon, Anthony Stokes was clearly brought down in the area by Michael Nelson but referee Collum waved away protests of a spot-kick before issuing the Celtic striker with a yellow card for simulation.

Lennon feels the decision was completely wrong and is of the belief that his club has been stripped of the chance to take out all three domestic trophies this campaign.

"It is a criminal decision and it has cost us the treble," he said.

"It's a stonewall penalty. It's a shocking decision, absolutely shocking.

"He's clean through, he's holding the boy off, the player lunges at him and takes his leg away and doesn't get anywhere near the ball.

"So it's a penalty and a red card, in the final minute of the game where we have banged away at the door.

"And to rub salt in the wounds he books Anthony for diving which is awful refereeing.

"There's no way Anthony Stokes would go down clean through on goal.

"Nelson's reaction; he knows he has given a penalty away and he is hugely relieved. I couldn't believe the decision myself.

"I shook Willie's hand at the end of the game because I wanted to act in a dignified manner and I thought overall he had a decent game but that is a big call in a cup final and for me he's got it horribly wrong.

"I might speak to John Fleming (Scottish Football Association's head of referee development) and get his opinion. They might see it differently."

 
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