HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson has escaped a touchline ban after being sent to the stand during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to St Johnstone.
Neilson was dismissed from the technical area by referee John Beaton with 14 minutes remaining at McDiarmid Park and later claimed it had been for ‘sarcastically clapping’.
The Tynecastle boss – who was able to watch the remainder of the game from a spare seat just behind the Hearts dugout – was accused of dissent by fourth official Mike Roncone and the incident was included in Beaton’s official match report submitted to the SFA.
The matter was considered by SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan on Monday but the lawyer has decided against issuing a notice of complaint or offering a touchline ban, something Neilson was adamant after the match he would fight.
Instead, the SFA have written to Neilson and Hearts warning him of his future conduct.
Meanwhile, Neilson hopes the Hearts fans were able to appreciate their side’s display against St Johnstone, despite defeat.
Around 2,500 Jambos made the trip to McDiarmid Park for the match but left disappointed after Hearts could not make their overall domination count.
Saints keeper Zander Clark kept efforts from Faycal Rherras, Jamie Walker, Tony Watt and Igor Rossi at bay in an inspired display, and Graham Cummins denied the Gorgie side the chance to go top of the Premiership temporarily with his 58th-minute winner.
Neilson was full of praise for his team afterwards, insisting he was prepared to lose games playing the ‘right way’, and is optimistic the supporters can see the players’ efforts.
Neilson told Hearts TV: “The support was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. It’s great that they followed us and I hope they went away entertained.
“They will be disappointed, as we are, with the result and the outcome, but I think we entertained them.
“We created chances, we got them off their seats, and we got them to clap – even though I’m not allowed to!
“They are behind us, and the players gave everything. I can’t ask any more of the players and the disappointing thing is we didn’t get what we deserved.”