Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon described Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson's tackle on James McPake as "shocking" after a scrappy Edinburgh derby ended goalless at Tynecastle.
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Hibs consolidated fourth place ahead of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League winter break, while Hearts remained ninth, six points behind their rivals with a game in hand.
Stevenson's reckless first-half lunge on Hibs captain McPake could have changed the game had he been dismissed, but referee Willie Collum did not even book the Hearts midfielder.
Fenlon said: "I've just watched it. It's a shocking tackle. He had a look first before he left the ground. We're disappointed with that.
"He has a bad gash, James. There could have been a bit of damage there, but he's not too bad.
"But you can't be critical of the referee. I thought the referee reffed the game very well."
Hearts boss John McGlynn said: "I haven't seen it again. I think the referee was in a good position. It's a derby game, it's competitive. In derby games four or five years ago that wouldn't have been an issue."
Stevenson could be retrospectively punished by Scottish Football Association compliance officer Vincent Lunny for the tackle. Had he been cautioned no action could be taken.
Hibs defender Ryan McGivern said: "It was a disgusting tackle.
"It was a red-card tackle. James McPake is not the kind of guy to make a fuss over nothing but straightaway he's told the ref it was a two-footed lunge.
"I think everyone saw it except the referee."
McPake was involved in two contentious first-half incidents, the other when he attempted to intercept a ball to Scott Robinson, who went down in the area before Andrew Driver shot wide.
During the Dundee derby, Collum let a similar incident go before awarding a penalty and McGlynn felt his side should have had a spot-kick. McGlynn said: "I'm not suggesting he played advantage, but I thought it was a penalty."
Fenlon added: "I don't know whether James made any contact or not."
Since Hearts won May's William Hill Scottish Cup final 5-1, Hibs have drawn two league encounters and claimed a semblance of revenge in the cup by dumping out the holders in a fourth-round clash at Easter Road in December.
The pre-match suggestion was that the tide is turning in Edinburgh, but there appears to be a way to go yet as Hearts were thwarted by a resilient Hibs, who beat Celtic last Saturday.
Stevenson and substitute Jason Holt missed second-half opportunities and John Sutton hit the bar with a header in stoppage time as Hearts finished on top, while the visitors' best chance saw Eoin Doyle blast over.
Fenlon said: "Coming here before it we would take a point. We were under the cosh a bit and under pressure. I don't think they carved us open or created a lot of chances.
"We probably had the best chance of the game in the second half. He (Doyle) is disappointed."
Fenlon has overhauled Hibs in little more than a year in charge and remains intent on clinching a top-six place after battling relegation last term.
"We'd have got well beaten last year with that performance, where we didn't keep the ball well enough, but we played a real tough game on Saturday," he added.
"It looked for some of the players tonight that it took its toll, but they still kept going to make sure we got something out of the game."
McGlynn felt his side were unfortunate not to finish with three points and was pleased with his new-look defence, which was without the ill Andy Webster and Ryan McGowan, who is set for a £400,000 move to Shandong Luneng in China.
McGlynn said: "It's another game where I think we merited the win. Unfortunately it's probably two points dropped.
"We should be sitting up there beside Celtic with the amount of points we've dropped in games we've dominated.
"I'm delighted that the back four, on the whole, were solid. They kept Leigh Griffiths very, very quiet."