HIBERNIAN manager Neil Lennon appeared to be struck in the face by an object thrown from the stands towards the end of tonight’s derby match at Hearts.
Lennon told BBC Scotland a coin struck him on the jaw, quipping the assailant ‘must have a few quid because it was a pound coin’.
However he also told the broadcaster it was wrong to suggest he had brought it on himself, saying he was only ‘giving a bit back for the abuse I was taking for 90 minutes’.
It has also been reported that both referee’s assistants were struck by objects thrown from the crowd during the game.
It appears that both assistant referees, Frank Connor and David McGeachie, were hit by objects thrown by the crowd during the #EdinburghDerby. The SPFL will get a full report from the referee and match delegate on Friday morning.
— Adam Higgins (@HigginsAdam95) October 31, 2018
The incident involving Lennon came after Hearts had a late goal ruled out for offside.
The Co. Armagh native could be seen celebrating the decision in front of the home support, before making a ‘sit-down’ motion.
Lennon then clutched his face before lying on the Tynecastle turf following the injury-time incident.
Neil Lennon struck by a coin by scumbag diets pic.twitter.com/BboD4kJV0U
— Tam Sellics son (@gibbogibby1) 31 October 2018
He eventually got back to his feet before returning to the dugout for the final moments.
Lennon was previously targeted at Tynecastle when in charge of Celtic.
In 2011, a fan made his way onto the pitch before lunging at the visiting boss.
Some social media users said Lennon brought the latest attack on himself with his celebrations, while others defended the Hibs boss.
Neil Lennon deserved that HAHAHAHAHA ginger fenian bastert
— Callum (@__CallumS) 31 October 2018
Hearts fans probably giving Neil Lennon horrendous abuse. Lennon turns round and gives them a bit back. You give it out you need to take it back. If you think he deserved to be hit by a coin or whatever it was for reacting to abuse you are a .
— Tam McManus (@The_Tman10) 31 October 2018
Neil Lennon brings it on himself. Not ok to be throwing coins at the football but for Lennon to say it’s ‘unacceptable’ - try having a look at your own behaviour first you utter wanker.
— Stuart Deacon (@StuartDeacon19) 31 October 2018
And not for the first time, a dickhead in our support has hit Neil Lennon (this time with a coin). Idiots
— Matthew Leslie (@mattleslie74) 31 October 2018
Neil Lennon is a prick. He brought that on himself there ✊
— Christopher Taylor (@funky_taylor) 31 October 2018
How can you defend your own fans for running onto the park and throwing coins at the opposition manager? Let’s not forget Neil Lennon was attacked by a fan a few years ago at the very same ground
— Gino Ginelli (@GiorgettiMarino) 31 October 2018
I didn’t my condone coin throwing or any other sort of violence but Neil Lennon doesn’t help himself. Why is he acting so immature. Obviously there’s always gonna be one or two thugs in crowd but if you try and rile crowd the way he was then expect these thugs to react. #idiot
— Stephen Elliott (@SleevesElliott) 31 October 2018
Wednesday’s 0-0 draw between the Edinburgh rivals was a tempestuous affair.
Smoke bombs were set off following the stalemate, during which visiting forward Florian Kamberi was sent off for two bookable offences.
A fan made his way onto the pitch from the away section while Hearts boss Craig Levein claimed afterwards that keeper Zdenek Zlamal was punched by a fan.
The result allowed Lennon’s former club Celtic to close the gap on leaders Hearts to four points, with the Glasgow side having a game in hand.