‘No point’ appealing Mooney red card, says Ward

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward says there’s ‘no point’ appealing the three-match ban striker David Mooney is facing following his controversial red card for ‘violent conduct’ against Southampton.

The Irish striker was dismissed in the 32nd minute after he raised his arms to Saints defender Danny Butterfield.

Contact was made around the shoulder area and the force was negligent, but a straight red card was nevertheless shown.

It put a dampener on what had been shaping up to be a keenly contested match between two promotion-battling sides that try to play good football.

And the U’s boss said he found the decision even harder to take having seen Southampton player Lee Barnard only receive a booking for catching Matt Heath with a far more dangerous looking elbow earlier in the game.

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Asked if he’d appeal Mooney’s red card, Ward said: “There’s no point. I’ve got a referee at half-time telling me I’m talking rubbish so how am I going to win a battle like that?

“He’s booked a player (Barnard) in the first half for, allegedly I guess, elbowing my centre-half (Matt Heath). Where are we going with the game?

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“There’s got to be some kind of spirit of the game with officials too.”

Ward continued: “It was a good game 11 v 11 and I thought we’d given as good as we got.

“They got the break off the wall from the free-kick, that happens, but the sending-off changes the whole complexion of the afternoon for everybody.

“He (Mooney) hasn’t pushed him (Butterfield) in the chest, he’s pushed him by the shoulders and the back actually. He did push him, but if those are sending-offs then many games would get abandoned because teams wouldn’t have enough people to play each other.

“Mr Gibbs will say he’s absolutely right by the letter of the law, but I think a yellow card, a warning and a ‘let’s get on with the game’ would have been fine.

“He should have been thinking ‘it’s been a good game so far, why should I jump in and cause a problem for it’.

“It means that everyone apart from those in red and white have gone home disappointed that they didn’t get to see a more even contest.

“We pushed them as far as we could with 10 men, however, I’d have just liked to have seen us push them even further with 11. The referee didn’t allow that to happen though.”

David Mooney will now miss Colchester’s next three games – Dagenham & Redbridge (a), MK Dons (h), Tranmere (a).

– Should the U’s appeal? E-mail: sport@eadt.co.uk or leave a comment below.

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