It has emerged Plymouth Argyle tried to scupper Peterborough United’s appeal against the red card Liam Shephard received in the clash between the League One play-off rivals last Saturday (April 14).
Shephard was sent off 20 minutes from the end of a finely balanced clash at Home Park by referee Craig Hicks. Hicks is thought to have acted on the advice of an assistant referee stood 50 yards from an incident which involved Plymouth star Graham Carey colliding with Shephard before falling dramatically down clutching his face.
Posh lodged an appeal against the decision which was upheld by a disciplinary panel this week, even though that panel was apparently shown additional video evidence sent in by Plymouth in an attempt to secure the ban.
“The tribunal was unanimous in upholding our appeal,” Posh manager Steve Evans stated. “Even though Plymouth sent in extra information in an attempt to prove the red card was correct.
“I’m surprised they would do that rather than focuse on securing a play-off place like we are, but we will just ignore the rhetoric from down there and concentrate on getting the results we need to finish in the top six.”
Plymouth came from behind to beat Posh 2-1 thanks to a last-gasp penalty scored by Carey following a foul by skipper Jack Baldwin, a decision Evans now believes was also wrong. He agreed with the pundits on Channel 5’s Football League highlights show who reckoned Posh had been robbed of a key point by poor officiating.
“I was too kind on Plymouth after the game by accepting it was a foul by Jack,” Evans added. “Having seen the incident again and having listened to the opinions of managers with more wisdom than me, I now believe it was just a coming together of two players.”
Plymouth boss Derek Adams confirmed earlier this week his club did send in a video they claimed proved Shephard’s red card was correct. The Pilgrims have now sent in a follow-up letter querying the decision to overturn the sending off.
He said: “The club have put in a letter to the FA. There are a number of things that we weren’t happy about after Saturday’s game.
“We have made our thoughts known to the FA and we will wait to hear back from them before making further comment.
“We were very surprised that the sending off was rescinded. We have got very good footage that shows it was a sending off.
“Other people in different areas of the media had been looking at the incident from one angle, but we have got the privilege of having another angle that shows it looks like it was a sending off.
“That is why we are very surprised it has been rescinded.”
Football League rookie Hicks, who also sent off Posh defender Steven Taylor during the game, does not have a fixture this week. Another rookie Anthony Coggins referees Posh v Rochdale at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (April 14). He has refereed just six League One matches in his career.