‘Well within his right to go for the ball’ – Northampton boss speaks out as red card is appealed

Northampton Town are set to appeal the decision to send off striker Vadaine Oliver this weekend, as reported by the Northampton Chronicle.

It was a thoroughly miserable weekend for the Cobblers, who went down 3-0 away to Scunthorpe United. Lee Novak hit an early brace before former Northampton man Kevin van Veen netted a third before half time.

Oliver was sent off early in the second half when he contested a loose ball in the six-yard box and caught keeper Rory Watson in the face. Watson had to come off the field, but manager Keith Curle doesn’t feel it warranted a sending off.

“I don’t want to just slaughter the referee and it’s not a case of that but, in my professional opinion, the ball has come spinning across the box and Vadaine has made a genuine, honest attempt to strike for the ball,” said the former Carlisle and Mansfield boss.

“Credit to the goalkeeper because he was brave and went down at Vadaine’s feet. He took a knock to the head but, apart from that, there was nothing else in it. The ball wasn’t bouncing around, it wasn’t as if it was reckless. The ball is on the ground and it’s coming across and Vadaine is well within his right to go for the ball and that’s what he did.”

The result leaves Northampton 18th in the table, seven points clear of the bottom two but just six shy of the top seven. They host Salford City this weekend, before a clash with Curle’s former club Carlisle United at Brunton Park a week tomorrow.

Our View

From the angle we’ve seen, it does look to be a harsh red card, but Oliver does have a reputation as a tough forward unafraid to put a boot or elbow in where it’s needed.

Oliver has been sent off six times in his career, five of which have been straight reds, and has to be described as ‘combative’. That may go against him when the appeal is heard, with the results expected tomorrow afternoon.


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