Curle calls for rule change after Martin's controversial red card against Crewe

Joe Martin heads away.Joe Martin heads away.
Joe Martin heads away.
Both yellows were poor decisions, according to Town chief

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has called for a change in the rules so clubs can appeal yellow card decisions after Joe Martin was controversially sent off against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

Both of Martin's two bookings at Gresty Road were strongly contested by the Cobblers. The first was awarded for wasting too much time over a free-kick despite the fact it was Michael Harriman who stood over the ball and eventually took it.

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Martin then received his marching orders midway through the second-half when he was deemed to have fouled Luke Offord. However, replays suggests Town's defender was the one who had been fouled by another Crewe player during the incident.

Cobblers are unable to appeal either decision and must do without Martin, as well as Cian Bolger who picked up his fifth booking of the season at Crewe, for Tuesday's trip to Oxford United. Shaun McWilliams is also suspended.

"This is probably me protecting myself but there needs to be a rule change because you can't appeal a yellow card, which is wrong," said Curle. "If that yellow card then leads to a sending off, surely you should have the ability to appeal a wrong decision.

"That option has to be made available. We're all human and referees and officials make mistakes but there's got to be the opportunity for them to say 'yes, it was a mistake, that shouldn't be a caution'.

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"That's a rule change that should come in because otherwise people just hide behind the fact that the referee made a decision and they're not answerable, but they are. They are professionals and if someone makes a mistake, the person who's been punished deserves the opportunity to have it rescinded."

Curle did get the opportunity to speak to Busby afterwards, which has not always been the case this season. "He gave me the courtesy of accepting my conversation," he added. "Other people previously have vacated the building very quickly and not afforded me that time.

"The professional thing to do is to respect his actions by coming out and giving me a full account of his rationale behind those decisions."