By Kealan Hughes

23rd Apr, 2021 | 8:05pm

Keith Hackett applauds officials for overturning first St. Johnstone penalty v Rangers

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive Rangers columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…

Keith Hackett was impressed by the officials’ call to overturn a penalty decision in Rangers’ favour against St. Johnstone on Wednesday night.

The key flashpoint occurred in the second half after the Gers had opened the scoring, with referee Euan Anderson believing Borna Barisic had pulled Shaun Rooney to the floor.

Seconds before the ball appeared to bounce up and strike Scott Wright’s arm, but it is a little difficult to tell if that was indeed the case from watching replays.

Nevertheless, Anderson gave a penalty and after protests led by Barisic and Connor Goldson [SPFL Youtube], the referee consulted his assistant, who convinced him not to give the penalty.

Commenting on the matter, Hackett exclusively told Ibrox News“I think the assistant referee there has shown great courage…on a first look my concentration was on that, was there a pull? And not on the handball.

“For the assistant referee to come in and clarify is excellent teamwork. And for the referee to be prepared to change his decision and the outcome is the correct call.

“So for me I think that’s another piece of good officiating from the Scottish officials who I often criticise.

“Rangers wanted the assistant to come in and intervene and say ‘look I think you’ve got it wrong and this is what I saw’, so for me, well done.”

Good call, for once

The officials deserve a tremendous amount of credit for being brave and taking the time to make sure they got the decision right.

We can forgive Anderson for giving the penalty as the appeals that went up from Rooney and his teammates were rather intimidating.

He then displayed authority by dismissing the Gers’ protests before showing the humility to accept he may have made the wrong call.

That is what we want to see from all referees and officials.

Sure they will make mistakes, it’s human, but to recognise faults and try to repair the damage will lead to better refereeing in the long run.

John Beaton showed exactly the opposite attitude in our clash with Livingston back in February, and that is why Steven Gerrard understandably lost his cool with him.

If more officials show this kind of teamwork we can limit the errors made and stop VAR ever coming into the SPFL.

In other Rangers news, there could be as many as six changes for our next match against the Saints, here is our predicted XI.