The SFA Disciplinary Tribunal today rescinded the red card shown to Hearts Callum Paterson during last Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Hamilton Academical. Referee Willie Collum sent the Hearts defender off with the Jambos leading 2-1 at the time. The Maroons lost the game 3-2. Hearts Head Coach Robbie Neilson was furious with the decision which he said cost Hearts the game and their position at the top of the league.

The Tribunal today agreed that the decision to send Paterson off was wrong and reduced the penalty to a caution for dangerous play.

Neilson, Paterson and Hearts Head of Football Craig Levein all attended the appeal hearing at Hampden this afternoon. Neilson still faces having to explain his post-match comments – he said his team had prepared for playing with ten men when he knew who the referee was going to be – at a later date.

Earlier this week, SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan defended referees in Scotland, saying they were of the highest standard. While everyone makes mistakes, in the case of Willie Collum it is clear he attracts controversy and it remains to be seen whether the official will asked to explain his actions  – not only at the Hamilton-Hearts game but others where his decisions have been contentious.

Meanwhile, Neilson has said he agreed to release Kevin McHattie and Gary Oliver as neither were first team regulars and, at this stage in their careers, regular first team football was vital for their development. The Gorgie gaffer is not looking for direct replacements but is keen to get another midfield player on-board, perhaps a free agent who could be signed outwith the transfer window which closed on Tuesday.