As Boston United prepare for three matches without Gregg Smith, Adam Murray can’t help but feel his imposing striker is being dealt an unfair hand.
Smith signed off in style last night, meeting James Clifton’s corner and heading home number three as the Pilgrims beat Alfreton Town 3-1 - his first goal since December, after being sidelined with a fractured ankle.
But he will now be in the stands watching the Pilgrims face Spennymoor Town on Saturday, followed by matches against Tamworth and Chorley after seeing red in the 4-0 defeat at Southport.
An aerial collision with Sandgrounder Curtis Jones saw the substitute issued a straight red card just 14 minutes after being introduced.
And after re-watching the match video, Murray believes his forward should never have received his marching orders.
“It was very, very harsh. If you watch the way Gregg plays he jumps for every ball in that way,” Murray said.
“We watched the video back and he’s not looked at the player once. He’s not led with his elbow.
“the ref’s report said he made a vicious movement with his elbow. He didn’t. He jumped to get leverage.”
But despite his frustrations, Murray says the club won’t be appealing the incident.
He said: “On reflection, I must have been in six or seven of these positions where we’ve never won.
“They have a habit of not going your way.
“We’ll lose Gregg, but it gives us time to get his fitness back up.
“It was not a red card in my view. The letter of the law is that you have to prove a ref made a mistake, and that’s tough.”
Murray was, however, delighted to see Smith net for the first time in eight long months.
“He’s a big player for us, in every sense of the word,” the manager added.
“Gregg was outstanding to put in that kind of a shift considering he hasn’t played 90 minutes for however long.
“He lifts everybody. I’m jumping into every tackle with him because he has that affect on people.
“I was chuffed to bits for him.”