Sports Opinion: rescinding 'comical' Dunne red card at St Johnstone was quite right

The appeal against Trevor Carson's red card at St Johnstone (above) has been rejected by the SFA (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
The appeal against Trevor Carson's red card at St Johnstone (above) has been rejected by the SFA (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

The dismissal of Motherwell's Charles Dunne at St Johnstone on Saturday was a decision so comical that it could have been sponsored by the Chuckle Brothers, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Saints striker Graham Cummins clearly tripped over his own feet when bearing down on goal with Dunne nowhere near him, something which I could vividly see from the press box in the opposite far corner of the ground.

So why referee Craig Thomson and his assistants then chose to dismiss Dunne and give St Johnstone a penalty is anybody's guess. What exactly was the former Oldham player's offence - breathing too strongly in Cummins' vicinity so as to make him fall over?

It was therefore no surprise for me to hear that Motherwell's appeal against Dunne's ludicrous red card had been upheld by the SFA's Judicial Panel this very morning.

Quite right.

But 'quite right' is also my opinion on the panel's rejection of Motherwell's appeal against the dismissal of goalkeeper Trevor Carson in the same match in Perth.

Television replays later proved that Carson DID handle the ball outside his box after rushing out, so Thomson was 100 per cent correct in this instance to send the former Hartlepool ace packing.

The only thing I would say here is that it could be argued that the rules of the game are clearly wrong if a player can be sent off for legitimately trying to grab the ball in his own box and misjudging it by a matter of inches.

Even if the keeper is deemed to have denied an opposition player a goalscoring opportunity, how can it be fair to send someone off for such a trivial looking offence yet another player could commit a wild foul in the same match and merely be booked?

On a busy morning, the SFA panel also upheld Dunne's red card in the recent 3-2 Betfred Cup win at Ross County.

Carson and Motherwell skipper Carl McHugh - also sent off at St Johnstone - are now both suspended for this Saturday's home league game against Ross County.

Dunne will be available for that one but is suspended for the home Betfred Cup quarter-final against Aberdeen next month.

It's been a truly crazy 10 days - even by Motherwell standards - so let's hope this Saturday's game is a bit calmer as I don't think my old ticker could take much more excitement!