A FIRST straight red card in the distinguished career of Argyle captain Gary Sawyer came against Newport at the start of February and the month finished with his second dismissal against Bradford.
In both cases, malice was never a factor from a player with such a respected reputation in the game and manager Ryan Lowe was particularly irked with the stodgy surface at Bradford that played a part in the dismissal.
However, the Pilgrims resisted the temptation to appeal that red card, as referee Carl Boyeson stuck with his decision after a second viewing and the skipper will miss three more games through suspension, including this weekend’s visit of Macclesfield Town.
“I spoke to Carl Boyeson after the game and he said he would have a look,” said Ryan. “Fair play to him, he said he would admit if it was wrong but he felt it was the right call, so I’m not going to argue.
“I was disappointed at the time but when you look back on it, what is a red card and what isn’t? There are plenty of things that happen throughout the leagues and I just feel that whatever the referee decides to do in that moment, we’ll always respect it.
“Sometimes we will be disappointed but the more we’ve looked at it, Gaz has his studs showing and the kid has reacted. We move on from it and in terms of appealing it, we went down the right lines. We spoke to the referee, who was open-minded and he said it was the right decision.
“I don’t know the rules nowadays because they change that often. It was determination [from Gaz] and he’s been excellent for us. Does he want to right some wrongs from last season? 100%, he’s the captain.
“I don’t want my players pulling out of tackles because you get hurt. The Newport one, the kid was just too fast and would have been too fast for anyone. The Bradford one was down to the pitch because the ball stopped.
“I’m not questioning Gary Sawyer’s mentality because he’s had two red cards, he just wants to do well for the football club.”