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Harsh dismissal for a 'stamp' on Brown ruined game, blasts Robbo

Motherwell 0 Celtic 0

By Ronnie Esplin

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson claimed referee Craig Thomson left Cedric Kipre "distraught" after sending him off for the second time this season in yesterday's goalless draw against Celtic at Fir Park.

The 21-year-old French defender was shown a straight red in the 41st minute after appearing to flick out his foot at Scott Brown after they tumbled to the floor in a challenge in which the Hoops captain had pushed him.

Kipre was also sent off by Thomson for conceding a penalty in Celtic's Betfred Cup final win at Hampden Park in November. The Fir Park club will appeal the decision.

Ulsterman Robinson denied having words with Brown in the tunnel at half-time and said: "I have had to put my arm round him (Kipre) because he is distraught.

"We all felt we could take the game to them in the second half so that was disappointing.

"It ruined the match because there were two good teams going for it and we had to sit back which was inevitable against a team of that quality.

"I think everyone in this room knows it wasn't a sending off. Two people coming together. It was nothing. It wasn't a stamp as was indicated as the reason.

"Scott Brown gives him a little shove and Cedric brushed his calf against him. It wasn't a red and it spoiled a very good match.

"I am proud of each and every one of my players. It was a well-deserved point."

Brendan Rodgers' side moved 10 points clear of second-placed Rangers with a game in hand and when informed of Robinson's disgruntlement regarding the red card, he said: "I can see why he (Robinson) would feel it isn't. Initially the reaction was that I thought it was a foul.

"Browny looks like he's getting up, sort of pushing the guy to get up. Then I think the guy's intent was to kick out. Craig Thomson is right up level with it by the time the incident happens, he's looking straight in at it.

"It's like a boxer - if he throws a punch and it doesn't hit, does that mean it's not right? He's gone to lash out and has caught Browny a little, not what you would expect to get sent off for.

"But Craig must have been looking at the intent of it."

MOTHERWELL: Carson, Kipre, Aldred, Dunne, Tait, Cadden, McHugh, Campbell, Frear (Hendrie, 68 mins), Main, Bowman. Unused subs: Griffiths, Bigirimana, Petravicius, Newell, Turnbull, Maguire.

CELTIC: Bain, Hendry, Ajer, Boyata, McGregor, Ntcham (Armstrong, 60 mins), Brown, Forrest (Roberts, 68 mins), Rogic, Edouard (Sinclair, 60 mins), Dembele. Unused subs: De Vries, Lustig, Compper, Musonda

Referee: Craig Thomson

Man of the match: Chris Cadden

Match rating: 6/10

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