ALLY MCCOIST and Celtic hero Chris Sutton clashed over refereeing 'conspiracy theories' after John Beaton's penalty decision in Rangers' win over Hibs.

The punditry pair went back-and-forth over the major decisions this week with Rangers defeating Hibs courtesy of a late penalty and Celtic pipping Hearts with a possible offside winner.

And on BT Sport's Scottish Football Extra the rival pundits clashed after Sutton questioned Beaton's award of a spot-kick at Easter Road.

The whistler blew for the penalty after Ryan Kent went down under challenge from Ryan Porteous in-front of a packed away support. 

Kemar Roofe slotted home the spot-kick to earn Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side a victory in the capital.

And Sutton was quick to take aim at Beaton's decision, despite admitting he thought it was a penalty.

He questioned: "Did you not think Ryan Kent was on his way down, no?

But McCoist replied: "Definite contact. No, I watched it from behind the goal where Ryan Porteous absolutely catches him, catches his foot and takes him down."

Sutton then jumped back in with the jibe: "Brother Beaton."

Glasgow Times: Beaton ruled Ryan Kent was fouled by Ryan PorteousBeaton ruled Ryan Kent was fouled by Ryan Porteous

Before McCoist responded referencing Celtic's controversial winner at Parkhead: "He's a yard and a half away, not like the linesman at Celtic Park, he was two yards away to be fair he's be struggling to see that.

"John Beaton is right in front and he got the decision. It's a difficult decision for Hibs to take and he got absolutely spot on."

And McCoist was even armed with statistics after Sutton's Beaton jibe, as he stated: "I thought Chris might head down this alley, and I checked up in the last five or six years John Beaton has given Celtic more penalties than Rangers.

"Now, I'm not sure if whether is a conspiracy theory here, but he actually has given Celtic more penalties then Rangers."

Not content, Sutton asked: "What about red cards?"

McCoist responded: "I didn't check that. but I will tell you right now, I'm almost sure the red cards are the exact same."

Sutton then offered his take on the penalty call as he once more questioned Beaton's allegiances: "I thought it was a penalty, I thought it was clumsy of Porteous but I thought Kent was looking for it and was on his way down anyway.

"What I would say about John Beaton is you don't often see referees when they award a penalty run to the away support and celebrate for awarding one."

But McCoist quickly slammed Sutton's comments while delivering a dig of his own at the officials at Parkhead: "That's poor! If you're going to be like that the only disappointing thing about the linesman at Celtic not flagging it is that he never finished it himself,  he should have ran in the box and finished it!

"We can argue about decisions coming here and there, I honestly believe we have got a really honest bunch of referees and officials, and of course they will make mistakes.

"We saw them make mistakes at Celtic Park and we'll see them make mistakes all over the place. But lets not question their integrity, we are better than that."