Rob Maclean: Bad day for ref Beaton, Shinnie for Scotland, Saints boost and Ayr

Referee John Beaton yellow carded Rangers striker Joe Garner for a wild challenge on Hamilton's Dougie Imrie
John Beaton yellow carded Rangers striker Joe Garner for a wild challenge on Dougie Imrie

Rob Maclean continues his series assessing the main talking points from the weekend's Scottish football action.

Credit to Canning

Referee John Beaton and his officials must have been expecting an after-match caning from Canning at Ibrox on Saturday.

Hamilton manager Martin Canning certainly had a stick with which to be beatin' Beaton after dodgy decisions gave Rangers a helping hand into the last four of the Scottish Cup.

So the Accies gaffer deserves massive credit for resisting the temptation - others would have jumped at the chance - to lay all the blame on poor refereeing.

Martin Canning
Canning was quick to point to his Hamilton team's failings rather than make excuses for the defeat

Martin said his Hamilton defence had performed as badly as the ref and his assistants and he was right.

But that doesn't disguise a dismal day for the match officials.

Garner's great escape

Joe Garner shouldn't have been on the pitch to complete his first Rangers hat-trick but he can certainly use that big stroke of luck to set about proving his worth.

Few would argue that a wild swing of his boot in the direction of Hamilton's Dougie Imrie deserved a red card rather than the yellow shown to him.

Just as few would contest the view that former Preston striker Garner has provided little return on the £1.8m Rangers paid for him.

But a Scottish Cup treble won't do him any harm, even if at least one of his goals came gift-wrapped. And there were signs on Saturday of the prolific goal poacher Rangers reckoned they'd signed.

It was the great escape for Garner and he'll hope he can kick on from it.

Shinnie a must for Scotland

Let's be having Graeme Shinnie in the Scotland squad.

The Aberdeen captain scored the only goal of Sunday's BBC Scotland live match against Partick Thistle at Pittodrie to lead his team into the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

It was only his second strike of the season and obviously it's not his scoring prowess that should have Shinnie's name jotted down in Gordon Strachan's notebook.

Graeme Shinnie scores
Shinnie showed yet another side to his came by scoring a delightful winner against Partick

It's his adaptability and dependability which make him a manager's dream, added to his high energy levels and low error count.

Shinnie could play alongside Scott Brown in central midfield or fill the problem right back berth.

It's not his best position but he's played there before and wouldn't let Scotland down.

Huge boost for Buddies

Championship strugglers St Mirren have a double boost to take with them into Wednesday's relegation crunch match against Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy.

They were a goal up at Celtic Park on Sunday against the runaway Premiership leaders for the best part of an hour.

Harry Davis celebrates
Harry Davis gave St Mirren a shock lead at Celtic but the Championship side eventually lost 4-1

And Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, relieved after his team came back to win 4-1, said Saints were the best domestic side he's faced this season.

Jack Ross and his squad would happily swap that compliment for three points at Stark's Park to improve their chances of survival.

But giving Celtic a scare, on the back of beating Hibs, doesn't do the Paisley team's hopes any harm.

What might have been for Ayr

Ayr United, like St Mirren, have to get back to the business of battling for their Championship place after their Scottish Cup run ended in the quarter finals.

And they'll look back on their 3-1 defeat at Easter Road and wonder if they could have pulled off a shock against Hibs had they kept all 11 players on the pitch.

Two goals down in 12 minutes, Ian McCall's team were revitalised by one of the best strikes you'll see from 19-year-old Craig McGuffie.

Craig McGuffie
Teenager Craig McGuffie scored a wondergoal in Ayr United's Scottish Cup defeat at Easter Road

That lifted their hopes of turning around a 2-1 deficit but a red card on the stroke of half-time for on-loan Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna's crazy challenge on John McGinn put Hibs back in control.

As shame-faced McKenna disappeared down the tunnel, Ayr's Cup dream went with him.

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