Watch Referee Gary Hanvidge’s ‘Honest Mistake’ – The Defining Moment of the Season

A wee reminder of the shocking refereeing decision that took winning the SWPL1 title out of Celtic’s hands. Watch for yourselves and pay close attention to Tash Flint standing next to theRangers goalkeeper who flaps for and completely misses the ball before Caitlin Hayes heads Celtic into the lead.

I was at the game and like everyone else there saw referee Gary Hanvidge give the goal. My immediate instinct when watching Celtic score is always to look at the referee and there are three things he can do – give the goal, disallow it or take a second or two to make his mind up. The goal was given and the Celtic players celebrated before he changed his mind and awarded a free-kick for an imaginary foul on theRangers keeper by Tash Flint.

You do get hardened watching the Honest Mistakes that the Scottish FA’s referees continually make but this one takes the biscuit given the goal had already been given and there was nothing at all to suggest that there was a foul. Put it this way, had VAR been in operation that night at Airdrie then surely they could have found nothing at all wrong with the goal!

The other point worth making on this incident is to point out that it happened at Celtic’s rented home ground at Airdrie and NOT at at our home ground at Celtic Park as The Celtic Star continually lobbied for. The games against Glasgow City and Hearts were moved to Celtic Park and the club deserved credit for making those decisions. But on reflection that game against theRangers could and should have been played at Celtic Park too.

It’s unlikely that a similar mistake will be made by the club going forward, now that the Celtic FC Women’s team has been fully integrated into the Celtic family by the support, who yesterday broke their own attendance record for an SWPL match.

But the Honest Mistake of the Season must go to referee Gary Hanvidge for this terrible decision that took winning the SWPL1 title out of Celtic hands and turned out to be the decisive moment in the season. 

Here’s what we said at the time about this disallowed Caitlin Hayes goal against theRangers

READ THIS…Referee’s ‘Honest Mistake’ Robs Celtic but Title Dream is Far from Over

Here’s Fran Alonso’s take on this shocking refereeing decision…

The Sky co-commentator was desperate to see a foul wasn’t she?

From our article at the time…

‘I went down to see our photographer at half-time and he had numerous photographs of the incident and using his camera we had a look at the still frames of every movement in that goal, searching for the reason the goal was disallowed. We were looking hard for something – anything at all – that could justify the decision. There was none.’

Here are some additional photos from yesterday’s dramatic and ultimately heart-breaking day at Celtic Park…

We’ll publish more photos from yesterday throughout the day on The Celtic Star, who have been on this journey with the team for the past three seasons.

Here’s Fran Alonso’s post match media conference which was attended by The Celtic Star…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email


  1. Rabbie Burns on

    Tbh she blocks the path for the keeper to get to the cross, if she’s not there the keeper has a clear path to the ball, so obstruction & a foul.
    Let’s not go down the route of thinking EVERY single decision is biased and cheating, a lot definitely are, but let’s be sensible otherwise we just look like crazy ppl grasping at straws.
    Stuff like this takes away from the actual blatants cheating by refrees who support a certain team.
    (and please don’t delete this comment, that’s what comments are for; debate!l You can delete the other idiot’s one though, saddo .. on a Celtic website and cheering a league win for a women’s team, and not his women’s team, but Glasgow City)

    • Sorry can’t agree, Tash Flint stood her ground, even backed away slightly. theRangers keeper made a decision to move towards the near post to punch the ball, there was no contact with the Celtic player and if there was it was due to the goalkeeper’s poor decision making and misjudging the flight of the ball. The referee gave the goal then thought otherwise. In the same game (I was there) before this happened the nearside linesman flagged four offsides – at least two were unbelievably poor calls – the result was Celtic were struggling to get out of our own half because they were given the free kick just inside their own half. I find it astonishing that anyone can look at that goal and think it was a foul on the keeper and I know that is a view shared by Fran Alonso, Caitlin Hayes and Tash Flint.