Curle 'annoyed' but reluctantly accepts McWilliams deserved to see red

Shaun McWilliamsShaun McWilliams
Shaun McWilliams
Midfielder now faces three-game ban

An 'annoyed' Keith Curle reluctantly accepted that Shaun McWilliams deserved to see red during the early stages of Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers.

McWilliams went in high and late on Doncaster's Reece James and referee Graham Salisbury wasted little time in whipping out his red card, much to the dismay of returning Cobblers supporters.

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That put a big dent in Town's hopes of victory and Doncaster duly eased to a 2-0 victory through goals in either half from Tyreece John-Jules and Joe Wright.

The red card was undoubtedly the game's key moment and whilst Curle conceded McWilliams ran the risk of being sent for an early bath, he also had sympathy with his young midfielder.

"The sending off annoys me," he admitted. "It's a fully committed attempt to win the ball because he's seen an opportunity to get it back. There's no malice in it but it was no surprise to see their player go down and then get up with no more than a twisted sock.

"In the eyes of the law, if you show your studs, it probably is a red card. It's a tackle that could be deemed out of control or dangerous and we have to take it on the chin - but I would love to complain about it!

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"You're going to get decisions like that in the modern game but the worst decision was probably their penalty, especially how it was given. I've since been told that it was the other official who gave it. He was 50, 60 yards away from the incident but gave information to the referee and makes the decision - he must have good eyesight!"

McWilliams faces a three-game ban unless the decision is overturned, and Curle suggested it was unlikely that the club will lodge an appeal.

"That's just the nature of it," he added. "You could think about an appeal but if you fail, he might get another match on top of it."