AN instant of remarkable indiscipline for a player of Theo Snelders'

experience is expected to incur a variety of penalties for a moment of

madness that cost Aberdeen dear against Hibernian at Easter Road on


In one of the most bizarre incidents in any season, the Dutch keeper

sent a right hook crashing into Hibernian striker Keith Wright's face,

after referee David Syme had awarded the Edinburgh team a penalty.

There seemed no doubt that Brian Irvine's innocent trip constituted a

breach of the rules, but the incensed goalkeeper leaned over the

grounded Wright, with self-control gone.

Whatever the exchange of words, Snelders' answer was to resort to the

use of his fist. The inevitable red card did not serve to calm his

temper, for he booted the ball out of the ground in response to Syme's


Now Aberdeen will lose the player for next week's home match against

Falkirk, but his dissent will be the subject of an additional report to

the SFA, by the match official.

Three years ago Syme was locked in his dressing-room at Tynecastle

after a Hearts-Rangers game, and in the Skol Cup semi-final this season

between Dunfermline and Airdrie, his last-minute penalty decision in

favour of the Fife team provoked furious reaction.

Irvine, who took over in the Aberdeen goal, was required to take

immediate responsibility when he faced Pat McGinlay's penalty kick.

Although he knew nothing of the shot, it cannoned off his body and

bounced sufficiently close for him to gather the ball, and start an

impressive 30 minute stint where he let no-one down.

There was further drama 11 minutes later when Aberdeen were awarded a

penalty, after an innocuous Alan Sneddon challenge on Eoin Jess but Jim

Bett's effort sailed four feet over the bar.

The full impact of their goalkeeper's banishment was brought to bear

on Aberdeen after regulation time had ended. Referee Syme, quite

accurately, added on four minutes to compensate for the aftermath of the

sending off.

It was in that time that Willie Miller, reached the Aberdeen bye-line

and directed his cut-back into the path of substitute Danny Lennon, who

fired a crisp shot low into the net from 16 yards.