CONLON DISAPPOINTED WITH RED CARD DECISION
Conlon disappointed with red card decision
CHAD website, 29 January 2007
STAGS striker Barry Conlon today said he was disappointed with referee Paul Melin's decision to give him a straight red card after only 10 minutes of Saturday's hard-earned 1-1 draw at Chester.
Conlon went for retaliation on Paul Bolland after a midfield challenge and now faces a three game ban.
But he said: "It was just an aerial challenge. I went up and got the flick on but I got caught by an arm or elbow across my face.
"I didn't mind that. You get on with it. But he then had a hand on my face and, as we went down, he just seemed to be holding on to me and it was a natural reaction to try to get him off me.
"That's all there was in it.
"I tried to get him off me and the referee says I kicked out and gave me a straight red.
"I was surprised. If I had gone in with a two-footed challenge or something malicious then I would hold my hands up and say it was stupid.
"But it wasn't like that. I think the referee could have shown a bit of common sense that early in a game and let it go.
"Being honest I thought the referee was poor all through the game.
"I apologised to the players and the manager as I know I would not like to have had to play 80 minutes with 10 men.
"If we'd lost I would have felt I had let them down. But they were brilliant and, with the chances we had in the second half, we might have won it.
"I am disappointed for the lads and myself that I will now have to miss a few games.
"The gaffer has told me to keep my head up. I have had a good start here which makes it worse. Now I will just have to keep running, keep myself fit and start from scratch again.
"We play Chester again soon after I get back so I hope to get my revenge by sticking the ball in the back of the net."
Manager Billy Dearden said: "I have looked at the video two or three times but you can't see the challenge.
"The ball goes through and then the video comes back and it's all happened by then.
"But Barry has reacted. People say he got an arm across his face and may have kicked out or whatever.
"It is very dubious whether he made contact but it is still inexcusabale. You cannot retaliate. It is violent conduct .
"I am very disappointed after he did so well scoring three goals in three games. Now he will miss three games.
"If he did lash out then I expect more from him and he will be disciplined.
"We are going to miss him, especially aerially defending set pieces."
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