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Was Joe Hart wrongly sent off at Livingston on Saturday?

The E-Tims diary published an interesting image/still from Saturday’s match between Livingston and Celtic.

The perceived wisdom from most sides was that John Beaton got it right when he red carded Joe Hart for his challenge on Mo Sangare just before the half our mark.

Faced with a through ball the Celtic keeper seemed to be a split second too late coming out for the ball with both players falling to the ground when contact was made.

A still is never the best evidence but it does show Sangare going in studs up to win the ball before he is brought to the ground by Hart with the red card awarded for denying a goal scoring opportunity.

Had the free kick been given against Sangare for dangerous play Hart would have stayed on the park denying Brendan Rodgers the opportunity to test his tactics while being a man down.

Even by his own standards Beaton was giving highly erratic decisions during the middle part of the first half on Saturday.

A late and dangerous challenge on Matt O’Riley was followed within seconds with a booking for Alistair Johnston which would have been avoided if the correct decision had been made seconds earlier.

Some might see that combination of decisions as levelling up as Livingston players are given an extra allowance, one that they used to the full to deliver consistently late tackles knowing that they won’t be punished.

The booking for Liam Scales will remain a mystery for all time. He was another victim of Sangare who knocked the ball too far ahead of himself then lunged in as the Celtic player was clearing the ball.

Beaton allowed play to continue then flashed an angry yellow card, Callum McGregor was the player closest to Beaton but Sky Sports discovered that it was Scales that was booked- without any explanation.

Last season Beaton was rewarded for his performances by taking charge of the Scottish Cup Final.

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