Craig Levein: I have no idea why referee sent me off

The Hearts boss says referee Bobby Madden lost control of the game against Hamilton.

Craig Levein was sent to the Tynecastle stand. SNS

Hearts manager Craig Levein accused referee Bobby Madden of losing control of the ill-tempered Scottish Premiership 1-1 draw with Hamilton at Tynecastle.

The 10-man hosts were denied victory after Jamie Walker's stunning free-kick just after the break was cancelled out by Xavier Tomas's 69th-minute header.

Hearts defender Jamie Brandon received a second yellow card in the 35th for elbowing Antonio Rojano but there was also plenty of drama off the field as both Levein and assistant manager Austin MacPhee were sent to the stand during seven manic second-half minutes.

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Levein was dismissed following a stand-off with Madden after refusing to heed the official's request for talks on the touchline but admitted he was unaware of the reason why.

Assistant manager MacPhee and Accies midfielder Darion MacKinnon then sparked a melee as the pair fell to the ground grappling for the ball - with police intervening in a bid to restore calm during the pushing and shoving.

Levein, whose team have now not won in six matches, insists Madden's handling of the game was partly to blame.

Asked if the official lost control, Levein said: "Those are your words. I'd agree with that. It was just the amount of mistakes he was making. I was frustrated by that.

"I have no idea why he sent me off. He never told me. Do I think he should have came to me? He ran 25 yards, why not run another five? Other than just to show who's the gaffer. It's stupid, eh?

"I don't think I did anything wrong. He didn't tell me why I got sent to the stand. If it's for not walking four yards, that is bizarre."

Levein, who was also unhappy with Rojano's part in Brandon's dismissal, was also furious MacKinnon did not receive a second yellow for his tangle with MacPhee.

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He added: "I don't know how Austin can get blamed for that situation. He had a hold of the ball and he was rugby tackled.

"If one player is holding the ball on the field and another player rugby tackles him, what happens? Both players then get penalised.

"My point is that even if Austin is holding the ball and then gets rugby-tackled, on the pitch they both get booked."

Accies boss Martin Canning disputed Levein's version of events, saying: "He didn't rugby tackle him, when you see it back Austin MacPhee pulled him on top of him.

"He has completely provoked him and that's why he's been sent to the stand, because the referee and fourth official can see exactly what I see.

"I've had to remove a player from the pitch because one of the coaches has literally pulled him on top of him to try to get him sent off, so that's why I'm pleased with my team's mentality and their professionalism to maintain their discipline."

Asked about Leven's comments over Rojano, Canning said: "I'm going to defend my player.

"I have seen it back but only in my own footage from the other side of the stadium, so when I see it close up it will probably just confirm what I thought in the first place, which was that he swung an arm and caught him in the face.

"I would like to see anyone else take an elbow to the face and not squeal."

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