(Photo: Bruce Fenn)
By Jon Couch
THEO VASSELL’S red card for Gateshead in their 2-2 draw at Maidstone United on Saturday has been upheld following an unsuccessful appeal by the club.
The 20-year-old defender was dismissed by referee Sam Purkiss in the 10th minute for a foul on Stones winger Zavon Hines inside the penalty area.
Gateshead boss Neil Aspin described the red card as “the worst he had ever seen in 36 years of football”, prompting the Heed to appeal any suspension.
But on reviewing the evidence, an FA disciplinary panel decided to uphold the referee’s decision – thus ensuring Vassell will be unavailble for Saturday’s visit of Boreham Wood.
Despite being without their star defender for 80 minutes, Gateshead fought back from 2-0 down to earn a hard-fought point, but boss Aspin was still enraged by the decision to send off his man.
“I’ve been in football 36 years and that is one of the worst red cards I’ve ever seen,” he said.
“I thought it was absolutely diabolical – it was harsh enough that it was a penalty!”
After the unsuccessful appeal, Aspin then told Gateshead-FC.com: “It’s extremely disappointing and I’m interested to hear the reasons why the decision was upheld.
“Theo has been one of our outstanding performers this season but we will have to accept his suspension and prepare for Saturday’s game against Boreham Wood.”