ABERDEEN boss Mark McGhee hit out at blundering card-happy referee Steven Nicholls after watching his team get farcically reduced to nine men against Hibernian yesterday.
Nicholls' display was the main talking point in the Dons' late 2-0 defeat after he flashed six yellow cards and two red in a game that hardly had a bad tackle in it.
Maurice Ross was ordered off for a second yellow card on 48 minutes before striker Chris "Bebo" Maguire, cautioned in the first half, followed him after a straight red.
McGhee refused to defend short-term Don Ross for his "clumsy" challenges, but was critical of the referee's dismissal of Maguire.
The Dons gaffer was also incensed that no action was taken against Hibs' Ian Murray for a strong challenge on Fraser Fyvie that left the 16-year-old with suspected ankle ligament damage.
Murray was not booked for the tackle, despite the referee's card-happy demeanour towards Aberdeen players for doing jot all during the game.
McGhee said: "I think he has booked a couple unnecessarily and he has got a straight red card wrong.
"For Maguire's first yellow he pulled out of the challenge and I don't think the referee should have booked him.
"The second one Maguire maintains that all he did was turn his foot to try and get the ball, he didn't try to injury anyone. If it was a straight red, he (Nicholls) has got it wrong then."
Fyvie was stretchered off late on and McGhee added: "Fraser looks as though he is badly injured, it looks like ankle ligament damage.
"I thought that tackle could be argued legitimate, he won the ball, but I think it was over-robust. I think it was a tackle the referee should have taken action on - the linesman was standing right next to him."