SPL

Steven Naismith hits out at ‘idiots’ who struck Lawrence Shankland with objects

By Sports Desk February 28, 2024

Steven Naismith condemned the “idiots” who threw objects at Lawrence Shankland as he waited to take Hearts’ penalty in their 1-1 draw at home to Hibernian.

The Jambos top scorer had to hold his nerve before he equalised from the spot just before half-time after a range of items rained down on him from the stand behind the goal housing Hibs fans.

Shankland was struck by more objects when defending a corner later in the game, while Hibs goal-scorer Emiliano Marcondes was also hit by something thrown from the Hearts end.

Hearts boss Naismith said: “I think it was everything that was in everyone’s pockets, whether it be coins, vapes or whatever. All the stuff getting launched on, it’s just not acceptable.

“If that then gets looked at, what’s going to happen is they are just going to reduce the amount of fans that can go into that stand and that’s going to impact what I think is a good atmosphere, a good derby which has a fierce rivalry.

“It’s just idiots that are going to spoil the party for everybody. It’s just not good enough, end of.”

Shankland’s penalty – contentiously awarded after Hearts forward Kenneth Vargas went down while trying to get away from Will Fish – just before the break cancelled out Marcondes’ 27th-minute opener for Hibs.

“It was end to end at times, both teams had chances and, ultimately, that bit of quality was the thing that was missing in the game,” added Naismith.

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery was adamant his team deserved to win the game and felt referee Kevin Clancy made an error by sticking with his decision to award the penalty to Hearts even though he was advised by VAR to review the incident on the pitchside monitor.

“The VAR is there to call the referee over so he doesn’t make a mistake and when he called him over, I looked at it on the monitor and my opinion is no way it’s a penalty – and I don’t think anybody else probably thought it was,” said Montgomery.

“And then, lo and behold, he’s got a clear view of it, he can slow it down, he can watch it. Yeah, he gives a penalty. I’m just really disappointed that we don’t take three points. It cost us two points.

“Maybe we’ll get another apology this week like we did after Aberdeen. Maybe we won’t. But at the end of the day, what we won’t get back is any points.”

Asked about the objects being thrown from the stands, Montgomery said: “I don’t condone it, Steven doesn’t condone it. Neither do the clubs. Unfortunately there were a few things.

“Emi Marcondes had it in the first half as well when we had serious pressure on them.”

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