Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom has been hit by an SFA charge for his conduct against Celtic on Saturday (Edinburgh Evening News)
The Edinburgh side managed to hold the Hoops to a 1-1 draw at Easter Road. Kristoffer Ajer’s own goal was responded to by a fine Ryan Christie header. However, they were hardly the only talking points from the contest.
Celtic should’ve had two stonewall penalties in the second half, whilst Hibs feel Olivier Ntcham should’ve been sent off. It all got a bit hectic, and some seemed to lose their heads.
Nobody more so than Heckingbottom. When Celtic equalised midway through the first half, he struck the fourth official by kicking a plastic bottle at him. He then proceeded to point over towards Neil Lennon, and was far too aggressive in his demeanour.
It all came from the idea that Hibs should’ve been given the ball back before the goal came about. But the truth is that James Forrest was clipped by the Hibs defender beforehand, and therefore actually deserved a free-kick in any case.
Heckingbottom let himself and Hibs down
There’s just no defending how the Hibs manager went about his business. He very much looked like a man under pressure, and so it proved with his conduct.
So much is made of how passionate and over-the-top Lennon can be. However, despite the decisions that went against Celtic in Leith, he remained a picture of composure on the bench. Celtic have plenty to be proud about when it comes to the conduct of their own staff on Saturday.
Heckingbottom, however, must be looking back at his own actions with some embarrassment. It was extremely petty from the Hibs boss.
It’s also a side to him that none of us have seen yet. He’s clearly feeling the heat, with his side still having not won a league game since the opening day of the season.
It’ll now be interesting to see how he responds to the charge. If he appeals it, it’ll show an incredible stubbornness. Heckingbottom would be as well to just take his own medicine and admit he was in the wrong.
But given how he behaved both during the game and in his post-match interviews, you get the feeling he’ll try and find some excuse to avoid a ban.