Seen on camera: Beaton grinning during Celtic’s heart penalty.

Even though John Bentley was far from the action at Tynecastle yesterday, the referee was still able to command attention

He was standing in front of several screens at Glasgow’s Clydesdale House, serving as match official Don Robertson’s VAR assistant.

Beaton proved he could be just as confusing with a remote control as he was with a whistle, earning him the anger of Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.

After the champions were defeated 2-0 by Hearts in a highly controversial match that saw Yang Hyun-jun sent off in the 14th minute and the home team granted a penalty kick shortly before halftime, the Hoops manager became enraged at full time.

Beaton is no stranger to making perplexing decisions when it comes to Celtic, having exiled Joe Hart, 36, earlier in the season against Livingston for the keeper’s lone sending-off in a 20-year career.

We’ll have to settle for just one example from his mountain of perplexing decisions because it would take far too long to explain them all, and I have a dentist appointment on April 3.

Rewinding to April of last year, CQN reported that the whistler had appeared sullen at Parkhead after the Hoops’ well-earned 3-2 victory in the Glasgow derby.

With just seven league games remaining, 60,000 jubilant supporters in Glasgow’s east end celebrated the champions’ victory, which put them 12 points ahead of the competition. Despite this, the fourth official maintained a somber expression.

Ange Postecoglou, the former goalie, shook hands with his defeated opponent Michael Beale in a sportsmanlike manner before doing the same with the assistant referee.

Beaton accepted the Celtic manager’s hand, but he was unable to remove his scowl.

With her tongue firmly in her cheek, CQN questioned, “Why so glum, John?”

We decided to search our picture collection to check whether there was a photo of the match official grinning.

And sure enough, we located one from January of last year, where Beaton is seen grinning broadly. Paradoxically, Hearts had been awarded a penalty kick at Tynecastle against Celtic.

Images from CQN’s match summary showed that Liam Boyce had sneaked one away from an offside position, but the Hoops were ahead 2-1 thanks to goals from Reo Hatate and Giorgos Giakoumakis.

Beaton determined that Nir Bitton had handled a header from Peter Haring after a corner kick from the right wing in the 72nd minute. Among other confused Celts, keeper Joe Hart questioned the controversial decision. Doesn’t that sound uncannily familiar?

The referee appeared content enough to explain. Boyce blasted his effort against the woodwork, and the ball bounced clear, serving justice.

The Hoops held on for three more points during the seven minutes of stoppage time, securing a historic championship victory in Postecoglou’s first campaign.

With nine games remaining, two of which are against the Ibrox team, the Hoops are now two points behind and are hoping to survive.

I’m not going to wager against them.



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