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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 August, 2003, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
Hibs condemn pitch invasion
Hibs players celebrate victory as fans invade the pitch
Hibs fans invaded the pitch in celebration at the final whistle
Hibernian's Edinburgh derby win over Hearts was marred by the actions of some of their supporters as a worrying trend of pitch invasions threatens to tarnish Scottish football.

Garry O'Connor's last-minute winner gave 10-man Hibs victory but sparked a pitch invasion on the final whistle, after which rival supporters clashed outside Easter Road.

That followed an even more alarming incident at half-time, when a Hibs supporter managed to make his way from the South Stand on to the park in an aggressive attempt to challenge referee Stuart Dougal.

The incident came 24 hours after an Aberdeen supporter aimed a kick at Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen during their game at Pittodrie.

Sunday's incident followed a controversial red card shown to Hibs midfielder Grant Brebner.

I'm sure the person in question will be banned
Hibs boss Bobby Williamson
The fan - believed to have been a carer for a disabled member of the support - was restrained before he could reach Dougal by Hearts goalkeeper Tepi Moilanen, who held him until police and stewards moved in.

A Hibs spokesman admitted that the incident could have much worse had it not been for Moilanen's swift actions and promised "appropriate action" against the individual.

"We are awaiting to find out what the situation is from the police and if the individual has been charged and what he has been charged with," he said.

"But for the actions of the Hearts goalkeeper, it could have been more unfortunate and he is to be commended.

"We would deplore the actions of the people who invaded the pitch.

"We will be waiting on the referee's report and information from the police as it comes in and, when the club has the full information, we will take the appropriate action against the individuals identified.

"It is a great pity when the team has shown such enormous spirit and character that the focus is going to be on this because of the actions of individuals."

Hibs manager Bobby Williamson did not see the incident but said: "I'm sure the person in question will be banned. We have to protect people participating in the game."

Brebner was shown the red card for pulling down Hearts' Robert Sloan in a game that also saw seven yellow cards.

"I don't really want to comment on the referee's performance," said Williamson, "he'll judge it himself.

Referee Stuart Dougal tells Grant Brebner he is being sent off
Referee Stuart Dougal sent off Hibs' Grant Brebner
"It wasn't a red card. A booking, yes, but not a sending-off.

"Grant was disappointed because he didn't think it was a sending-off either. The young lad was 40 yards from goal and it wasn't a goalscoring opportunity.

"Thankfully, we got the three points."

Hearts head coach Craig Levein is already in trouble with the Scottish Football Association for failing to pay a fine imposed for comments made about referee Dougie McDonald last season, but he sympathised with Dougal.

"Derby matches are difficult, because you have two teams really intent on winning and it's very competitive," he said.

"You can look at it different ways. If you don't clamp down, things could get out of control and if you do clamp down then there are going to be cards.

"It's not a game that I would like to referee."






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