'Innocent' Bennett's red leaves Caufield fuming
Cork City manager John Caulfield says Alan Bennett is an 'innocent man' as the defender faces up to a three-game ban for his dismissal in Monday's EA Sports Cup defeat to Shamrock Rovers.
Caulfield was also sent to the stands after exchanging words with the fourth official with tensions running high after the earlier red card that was shown to Bennett following a tangle with Dave Webster.
He believes the visitors were wronged in both instances and indicated that Cork would explore avenues of appeal, with Bennett in line for an additional two-game ban on top of the automatic punishment of missing the next game.
Referee Neil Doyle felt that Bennett had stamped on Webster and it's believed that the Rovers player is adamant that's the case. But Caulfield insists that match footage suggests otherwise and he is ready to fight Bennett's corner.
"An innocent man was sent off," said Caulfield after his 10 men were broken down in the final minute of extra-time by a James Doona strike. "There was rumour going around that he stamped but we've got the video, absolutely not.
"Alan Bennett is distraught about it because his record is impeccable. He would never do a thing like that.
"Certainly, we don't like an innocent guy being done but we'll wait and see the (referee) reports and we'll have a look at it.
"But Alan isn't very happy about it all and maybe you'd have to ask Webster that. It changed the game, it ruined the game. We watched it several times at the video and actually it's comical."
Caulfield was sent off later in the game when the fourth official signalled to Doyle after a free-kick was awarded to Cork.
"I was asking the boys to get in the box and he asked the referee over to send me off," said the City boss, hinting the official accused him of saying something else.
While Cork lick their wounds, Rovers are looking ahead to a first final under Stephen Bradley with Dundalk the opponents on September 16 in Tallaght Stadium.