Hibernian Striker Leigh Griffiths Denied Derby Goal by Match Officials

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMarch 12, 2013

The introduction of goal-line technology might be on the way, but it will prove too late for Scottish Premier League side Hibernian and their striker Leigh Griffiths.

The Edinburgh club were looking for their first win in a league derby against Hearts since 2009 when they were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal in the 77th minute with the scoreline 0-0.

Griffiths struck a ferocious effort which flew over Hearts goalkeeper Jamie McDonald and crashed against the crossbar. The ball was hit with such force that the effort bounced a yard behind the line and was cleared by defender Andy Webster.

However, match official Euan Norris and assistant Raymond Whyte ruled the goal out and waved play on at Easter Road.

On-loan Wolves striker Griffiths, who has scored 22 times for Hibs this season, even had the backing of Hearts defender Webster, as the Daily Record reported.

The Scottish Football Association has admitted introducing goal-line technology would be too expensive, as reported by The Herald newspaper in Scotland, despite FIFA announcing last month their decision to bring it in for the Confederations Cup this year and the 2014 World Cup Finals.

Griffiths' strike is not the first time the Scottish top flight has been the subject of controversy over a ghost goal.

In 1993, Dundee United striker Paddy Connolly was denied a goal in one of the most infamous disallowed efforts in the history of British football.

Connolly drilled home against Partick Thistle at Firhill when he connected with a corner. The ball struck the stanchion at the back of the goal and bounced back into play.

Referee Les Mottram waved play on despite Partick defender Martin Clark handing the ball to goalkeeper Andy Murdoch as the home side prepared to restart the game.

Connolly and his teammates, including former Everton and Rangers striker Duncan Ferguson, remonstrated with the official without success.

Fortunately, the disallowed goal did not affect the result as United ran out 4-0 winners.