Hearts star Roman Bednar insists referee Mike McCurry called it correct when he sent-off Dean Shiels in an explosive Edinburgh derby.
Shiels saw red for violent conduct in the Bank of Scotland Premier League clash seconds after hauling Hibs level from the penalty spot.
He collided with Jambos goalkeeper Craig Gordon while attempting to retrieve the ball from the back of the net and pleaded his innocence after the game, backed by manager John Collins.
It proved to be the turning point in a match Hearts went on to win 3-2.
Television pictures showed Shiels did not punch Gordon – as was apparently claimed by one of McCurry’s assistants.
However, Bednar insists the Hibs player had to go for a reckless lunge on their new captain.
“At 2-2 it all went a bit crazy with Shiels,” he said.
“It was a sending-off. You cannot do that. He didn’t punch him but he did push him.”
Bednar set up Paul Hartley for the opener within the opening two minutes, before Edgaras Jankauskas doubled the advantage shortly after the break.
Hibs fought their way back to level terms through Chris Killen and Shiels’ penalty but Hearts took advantage of the extra man and won the game through a wonderful Saulius Mikoliunas strike.
Bednar is now hoping their poor run of form is behind them following back-to-back victories over Dundee United and Hibs.
“Every derby is crazy and this one was crazy,” he said. “It’s a special game. It was a great win here and also at Dundee United.
“It’s fantastic and we just have to keep it going now.”
Bednar has been out of action since October with an Achilles injury and was thrilled to be named in Valdas Ivanauskas’ starting line-up yesterday.
He said: “This is my first game and I was surprised to be in the first XI after injury.
“But I think I was ready and it’s fantastic to be back.”
Hibs boss Collins was still raging about the red card afterwards and claimed the decision wrecked his side’s hopes of going on and winning.
“Without a doubt, at 2-2, the momentum swings in our favour,” he said.
“The way we were playing in the second half, if we had 11 men, there was only one team who was going to go on and win the game.”