Gainsborough Trinity boss Russ Wilcox calls for FA rethink on red card ruling

Gainsborough Trinity manager Russ Wilcox is calling on the FA to look again at their rules regarding red card appeals as they face up to two frustrating weekends without action.
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Last Saturday's postponement at Matlock Town and the coming weekend without a fixture leaves midfielder Bobby Johnson waiting three weeks to start a two game ban that Wilcox is adamant should not be happening.

Johnson was dismissed for two yellow cards in the same incident which saw Trinity sink to a 2-0 home loss to Morpeth.

But the referee has since admitted the first challenge was not a yellow and apologised.

Russ Wilcox - frustrated by red card ruling.Russ Wilcox - frustrated by red card ruling.
Russ Wilcox - frustrated by red card ruling.

However, teams are not allowed to appeal two yellow cards and the ban stands.

“I am really disappointed with the rules,” said Wilcox.

“To be fair to the referee I spoke to him on Monday morning and he apologised and said he got it wrong, the first one should not have been a yellow card.

“We lost Bobby for the second half and all that entails and we now also lose him for the next two games which means his suspension will last a good month.

“It's bad enough losing your player for the second half of a game, but to get a double whammy of then losing him for the next two games is wrong.

“For me if the referee holds his hands up and says I got that one wrong we should be able to appeal that, but you are not allowed to appeal two yellows, only a straight red.

“For me they need to look at that and referees need to be more accountable as we are as managers, players and staff. We all make mistakes – we are human.

“But for me once a mistake has been made they need to look at it in depth.

“It's like saying we know you're not guilty but we're still going to send you to prison. It doesn't make any sense to do that – to say I got that one wrong and you should not have been sent off but you still have to serve a two game ban.

The Matlock game fell foul of the frost on Saturday and Wilcox said: “I think it was always going to be in doubt as there were a lot of games off at the weekend.

“I know Martin Carruthers, the manager there, really well from my Scunthorpe days and he kept giving me the heads up as to what was happening.

“We were hoping it was going to be on as the forecast was for seven to nine degrees on Saturday, but it never really happened.

“It makes it even more frustrating with no game this coming weekend after Marske dropped out of the league.

“They are going to do similar to what Macclesfield and a few other clubs have done, drop down a fair few leagues and start again, which is good as you don't want to see clubs fold.

“To keep us ticking over I hope to have an in-house game using some of our U21s to have a look at them as well. I'm not a big fan of friendlies against opposition. But I am not sure when we will play it as the forecast is not good again with wind and rain.”

The next game is away at United of Manchester on 3rd February and Wilcox added: “It has been a bit of stop-start time since I came in.

“We started well and then had a blip, but over New Year we had two outstanding wins against two of the top teams and I am sure we would have picked something up from the Morpeth game.

“Some of these decisions really do affect you as a manager and a group of players.”