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Hibernian were denied a 'blatant' penalty after we 'battered' Rangers, says Neil Lennon


Hibernian manager Neil Lennon

Hibernian manager Neil Lennon

Hibernian manager Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon hit out at referee Kevin Clancy for denying his side a "blatant" penalty as he insisted Hibernian did not get their just rewards for "battering" Rangers.

The Easter Road boss claimed he had never presided over a more one-sided clash with the Ibrox men but was left frustrated as they slumped 2-1 to Graeme Murty's side.

And there was particular frustration as Rangers substitute David Bates appeared to get away with handball inside the box 15 minutes from time.

"It's a clear handball that you can see," the Northern Irishman said. "It's hand to ball, he's even leaned into it.

"The linesman has seen it, so how the referee hasn't I don't know.

"Everyone on that side of the ground could see it and you could tell from the reaction.

"The ref said he didn't think it was a penalty, so he's the only one in the ground. He looked to the linesman and the linesman gave that decision.

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"There's no doubt we've been done by that decision. You just want officials to get big calls right. It's blatant."

Lewis Stevenson's deflected strike put Hibs ahead nine minutes in but, despite dominating their opponents, Lennon's side could not add to their lead.

And it proved costly as Josh Windass and Alfredo Morelos struck twice in the final three minutes of the opening half to put the visitors in front.

It was all hands to the pump for Rangers after the break as the hosts threw everything at them.

The post twice came to the visitors' rescue as Hibs substitute Brandon Barker was denied.

"I thought we were sensational and didn't get what we deserved," Lennon said. "They were battered. I've been involved with Celtic but that was probably biggest battering I've given Rangers.

"They camped in for the second half and we controlled it.

"We hit the post twice, worked the goalkeeper but missed good chances during the first half.

"My goalie (Ofir Marciano) should do better with their two goals.

"But we can't keep putting in good balls and not scoring. We deserved at least a point."

Murty has now chalked up four wins in a row as caretaker boss and is increasingly looking like the man to see the Ibrox side to the end of the season.

But he admits the Leith clash put him through the wringer, even if it was enough to keep his side in second spot.

"I'm delighted with the three points but I endured that more than enjoyed it," he said. "The lads showed good spirit and battling nature.

"Hibs imposed themselves upon us and we didn't deal with the ball well enough to alleviate the pressure.

"We did ride our luck at times. But wins have a wonderful effect on the changing room. The players are sitting in there agreeing that we didn't hit the heights we know we can.

'But winning here while not playing our best, you'd take that."

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