Ryan Strain Rangers red card and penalty flashpoint triggers ‘biggest surprise’ reaction from ex-referee

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St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson had no complaints about referee Nick Walsh’s decision to send the Aussie off.

Former English Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has praised VAR operator Steven Kirkland for identifying St Mirren wing-back Ryan Strain’s handball against Rangers.

The Buddies ace was shown a straight red card for deliberate handball by referee Nick Walsh during Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to the managerless Ibrox side. The Australian international also cost his side a penalty after deflecting Zak Lovelace’s cross away from the lurking Abdallah Sima.

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Gers skipper James Tavernier dispatched the resulting spot-kick to fire the visitors in front before Sima and a stunning Tavernier strike from distance secured three points and ensured the Ibrox club jumped above the Paisley outfit into second place Premiership in the table.

The flashpoint was initially missed by Walsh but after being called across to the pitchside monitor to review the incident, the whistler subsequently sent Strain off for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Frustrated Saints manager Stephen Robinson had no complaints about Strain’s dismissal and admitted Walsh made the correct decision after consulting the video technology.

“The red card changes the whole game,” Robinson admitted. “It’s 100 per cent the right decision. If you go 1-0 down with 11 men we’re still right in the game. We’re playing really well, but the red card changes it completely.

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“We tried to stay in the game for 65 minutes, that was our plan. We came out and made three forward changes to try to give us some momentum. But it didn’t do that as right away we lost a goal. That comes from our decision-making. So ultimately we’ve been punished for our decisions without the ball.

“People have to make decisions in the game. It’s just a reaction from him (Strain). It’s a poor decision - we know that - and the referee gets it 100 per cent correct. I was miles away and thought at first it had hit a Rangers hand but obviously it didn’t. It’s definitely a sending off.”

Analysing the incident on Sky Sports News ‘Ref Watch’ segment, Desmond said: “I’m not surprised it was missed on the field. My biggest surprise is seriously how well it was picked up. When I saw this clip earlier today I said ‘What’s the problem?’.

“They showed me it three or four times and then I said, ‘Oh, that’s a handball.’ So for the VAR to pick that up in normal play and say to the referee to stop and go and look at the screen, I think it amazing. It was absolutely 100 per cent the correct decision.”

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