Kris Boyd fires VAR warning as pundits debate Rangers defender Leon King’s caution in 2-1 Motherwell win
The teenage centre-back escaped a red card for a cynicial foul on Stuart McKinstry at Fir Park.
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Kris Boyd believes referee David Dickinson was correct to caution Rangers defender Leon King for his heavy challenge on Motherwell’s Stuart McKinstry - rather than sending him off.
The teenager was shown a yellow card for a professional foul in the closing stages of Sunday’s gritty 2-1 win over the Steelmen in North Lanarkshire - the penultimate league fixture before VAR is introduced in Scotland.
With the Steelmen chasing a late equaliser and the visitors left vulnerable at the back in the 87th minute, centre-back King cynically wiped out on-loan Leeds United winger McKinstry and the tackle left Fir Park boss Steven Hammell furious.
The 18-year-old made no contact with the ball and Hammell admitted: “I think it’s a red card. Not for where it is on the pitch and where Stuart’s going to - that’s up for debate - but for the actual tackle in isolation. It’s poor, he catches him high and there’s a lot of force in it.
“I think Stuart’s lucky not to come away with an injury on the back of it. It’s not something we are going to be overly concerned about - but in my opinion it’s a poor tackle.”
However, Boyd reckons referee Dickinson got the contentious decision right and played down talk that had the challenge come next weekend, it would have been referred to VAR.
Speaking on Sky Sports, the former Gers striker said: “It’s a bad tackle no doubt about it and a yellow card, but just because we have VAR coming in you can’t just go looking for things. He’s late. It’s a yellow card for me.”
Kenny Miller was also in agreement, stating on BBC Sportscene: “I don’t think there’s a goalscoring opportunity. Maybe you think the tackle might be a bit wild with a lot of force behind it but there’s no doubt he’s gone to play the ball.
“He’s just mistimed it. McKinstry’s got his toe in and I think yellow card is a correct decision.”
Fellow pundit James McFadden admitted the incident could have gone either way, stating: “These are going to be the tough ones. There will be people sitting at home saying ‘He’s definitely getting a shot away’ and people saying ‘He definitely isn’t’ and VAR are going to look at these incidents.”
Second half goals from Malik Tillman and John Lundstram had the Ibrox club in control but they had to survive a late rally from the home side as McKinstry’s free-kick set up a tense finish to a lacklustre match.