MORTON assistant Anton McElhone has today branded David Hopkin’s touchline dismissal at Easter Road as an ‘absolute disgrace’.

Hopkin was sent to the stand for protesting after whistler Alan Muir didn’t give a foul on Cameron Salkeld in the build-up to Hibs’ fourth goal.

The Morton assistant accused fourth official Kevin Graham of ‘grabbing’ Hopkin,  with chief executive David MacKinnon saying he was appointed to the tie late on without their knowledge.

McElhone believes the club have a strong case against any possible disciplinary action.

He told the Tele: “The manager hasn’t done anything wrong in the full game, he is a passionate man and disagreed with the decision in the build-up to the fourth 

“It’s an absolute disgrace that he’s been sent to the stands for no apparent reason by a fourth official who wasn’t supposed to be here.

“We’re in injury time at three each, we’re on the attack and we’re actively seeking to go on and win the game and it’s a clear foul.

“We didn’t get a lot of the rub of the green against a Premier League club which happens unfortunately.

“I was told funnily enough by a staff member here at Hibernian that you don’t always get the rub of the green, but we gave everything to go and try to win the game and showed that we can compete with Premier League quality.

“It added insult to the matter that Kamberi went and scored from the decision, there were decisions earlier that didn’t go for us either.

“I think it was John Sutton, he was getting held clear as day and nothing has been given at all. 

“Again they’re getting stuff going their way because they’re the home team.

“We were at the referees’ meeting at Hampden and the manager has been suspended before for a similar incident, where he’s been made out to abuse the referee and he’s said nothing.

“All he’s done is ask a question, and the way that the fourth official came over is unacceptable, he came over and screamed at him and grabbed him, it’s totally unacceptable.”

MacKinnon said: “I saw the fourth official manhandling the manager, grabbing him by the arm and if it had been roles reversed then there would have been a big issue.

“Why a fourth official believes he can do that I have no idea whatsoever.

“We’re not taking anything away from Hibs, we wish them all the best going into the next round because ultimately they went on to win the game.”