‘There’s no need to make the decision’ – Dundalk to appeal Benson red card

Robbie Benson walks to the Dundalk bench after picking up a red card against Shamrock Rovers. Image: Sportsfile.

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk manager Stephen O’Donnell has confirmed they will appeal the red card awarded to Robbie Benson in Friday night’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers.

O’Donnell cut a frustrated figure after a 4-0 reverse at Oriel Park with Benson shown red for a high challenge on Lee Grace just after the half hour mark – it was the first dismissal of the 30-year-old’s career.

Rovers were a goal up at the time but O’Donnell was happy with how his side were performing and feels that the call by Arnold Hunter was game defining.

A new rule this year allows clubs to appeal red cards and the matter will be resolved on Saturday with O’Donnell stating that Dundalk will argue their case using video evidence.

He said that his opposite number Stephen Bradley told him it was a bad decision.

"I don't see how you can get involved and make such a decision,” said O’Donnell. “I don't even think Rovers players were looking for a red, I don't think it entered anyone's head.

"If he feels it's a high leg and it's a yellow card, nobody would have batted an eyelid. The actual footage shows Robbie toes the ball first and then obviously, there's a coming together with Lee Grace.

"It's an honest challenge. Both players are putting their leg up to play the ball. Lee Grace had no issue after, he was hobbling and had no issue playing on. I'm not saying (anything) from his point of view but there was no serious foul play there. It’s just very frustrating.

"He (Bradley) said it to me, he said 'terrible decision, never a red card' - what more do you say? There's no need, I don't think the officials need to get involved - don't get involved and be eager to make a decision that's going to determine the game, there's no need.

"You're preparing two weeks for the game, if it it's not serious foul play, it's not a tackle over the top, over the ball, it's not a last man, there's no need to make the decision “

When asked for his view by media, Bradley indicated he wasn’t sure about the decision.

“I don’t know if he catches him but it is high. I think at the last second the two pull back from it but the fact it was his studs high I think that’s what got him sent off,” said the Rovers boss after his side ended their winless run.

"We’ve obviously had those go against us this year, those sort of decisions. Over the course of a season, as a manager, you just hope it evens itself out.”

O’Donnell said he is hopeful that star striker Patrick Hoban will only have a short layoff after sustaining a hamstring issue that ruled him out of the Rovers reverse.