By Nick Ware

24th Apr, 2021 | 11:10am

Keith Hackett lauds penalty decision in Rangers 1-1 v St Johnstone

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 has praised Euan Anderson for awarding St Johnstone a late penalty to deny Rangers their 30th Scottish Premiership victory of the season.

Jack Simpson, making his first Gers start, was adjudged to have fouled Chris Kane in the penalty area and that gave Liam Craig the opportunity to slot past Jon McLaughlin in the 94th minute to level the game 1-1 at McDiarmid Park.

It was a big call at a crucial time by referee Anderson but ex-Premier League whistler Hackett was left in no doubt as to whether his ruling was correct.

“He’s tripped him that’s spot on, it’s a good decision,” Hackett told Ibrox News.

“The referee is in a good position again and makes his decision.

“I’m happy with that, I think it’s a good piece of refereeing. He’s followed through into the area.

“I think when referees are giving penalty kicks they just need to be positive and I think the referee was here.

“I think that referee and his colleagues can be very happy with their performance.

“When’s he coming to England to referee on the Premier League, we need him.

“He has every right to be pleased with his performance and if I was his boss I’d be very happy and he’d be on another game this weekend.”

No complaints

We’ve seen some suspect calls over the season but this was one of the more clear cut decisions we’ve seen given against us.

Simpson was clumsy and there wasn’t much hiding place here, the contact was obvious.

Maybe we can cut the 24-year-old some slack in that this was only his third Rangers appearance but Steven Gerrard might well be regretting handing him his chance to impress.

With games running out and the Light Blues desperate to keep up their unbeaten Premiership season and secure Scottish Cup glory, Simpson might now have to wait until next season to get another opportunity.

In other Rangers news, club reportedly in pole position to sign speed demon who wants Ibrox switch.