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Lennon faces new rap after fresh outburst

sports Updated: Jan 13, 2011 09:06 IST

Celtic manager Neil Lennon could find himself in more hot water with the Scottish Football Association (SFA) after yet again berating match officials who he claimed constantly give the big refereeing decisions against his side.

The Hoops boss was left fuming after a number of contentious decisions went against the Scottish Premier League leaders before Anthony Stokes's stoppage-time penalty salvaged a point in a drama-filled 1-1 draw away to bottom of the table Hamilton on Wednesday.

Simon Mensing headed Hamilton into a 27th minute lead from a Flavio Paixaio free-kick, to the anger of the Celtic bench who justifiably felt Martin Canning had been in an offside position interfering with play as the free-kick came in.

Celtic midfielder James Forrest and Hamilton's Jim McAllister were both shown straight reds for rash challenges in the second-half.

Lennon then felt his side should have had a penalty when Niall McGinn went down in the box under pressure from Canning only for referee Willie Collum to book the Celtic man for diving.

Mensing then went from hero to villain as he was ordered off for conceding the penalty that cost Hamilton all three points at New Douglas Park.

Stokes had the ball in the net again six minutes into injury time when he headed in a corner but his celebrations were cut short after the linesman adjudged the ball had gone out before reaching him.

Lennon was handed a six-match touchline ban by the SFA this week after his appeal for being sent to the stand in a match against Hearts was rejected and he could receive a further ban for comments made following that game.

Now the rookie manager faces the wrath of the SFA again after questioning several decisions in a draw with Hamilton that cost his side vital points in the race for the championship.

"I'm angry at some aspects of our play but angry about some of the decisions that have gone against us as well," Lennon said.

"I just want the officials to do their jobs properly.

"You are talking about big moments in the game again. You are talking about Hamilton's goal, which shouldn't have been a goal, and you are talking about a penalty which we should have had.

"From what I gather Canning, is blocking the view of my goalkeeper. He is at least maybe a yard or two offside and jumps out of the way of the ball so how can that not be interfering with play?

"The linesman is quick to see the corner that goes out for Stokes's goal at the end but he can't see a blatant offside. It's staggering," former Celtic captain Lennon added.

"The incident with Niall is a clear penalty. Canning has not got the ball, he's taken Niall out and it's a penalty.

"If Hamilton don't get the goal we win the game 1-0.

"It seems to be every week. I don't want to say anything cause I'm in enough trouble as it is, but it seems to be every other game now that big decisions seem to have gone against us and it's frustrating," the 39-year-old former Northern Ireland midfielder said.

The draw extended Celtic's lead over Ranger to five points, albeit their Glasgow rivals have three games in hand.

Despite having two players sent off and seeing his side lose a chance of their first win over Celtic in 21 years, Hamilton boss Billy Reid refused to criticise referee Collum.

"I rate Willie Collum as one of the better referees in Scottish football and I'm certainly not going to get on his back," Reid said.