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Heeley: It’s getting silly
1:00pm Monday 15th October 2012 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
MANAGER Carl Heeley reckons the rules of football need to be looked at after seeing two of his players sent off against Stalybridge Celtic.
Lee Ayres and Rob Elvins were both dismissed during last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at St George’s Lane, City’s first home defeat of the season.
Centre-half Ayres was given his marching orders seven minutes into the second-half for a foul on Mitchell Austin which led to Celtic’s equalising penalty.
Elvins was shown a second yellow card late on in the contest by referee Michael D’Aguilar, who also sent off Stalybridge’s Austin for a challenge on keeper Matt Sargeant.
Heeley says he understands why both of his players were dismissed but feels common sense has to prevail to stop games ending up “seven versus eight”.
Ayres and Elvins will now both serve one-match bans and miss the Blue Square Bet North trip to Boston United on Saturday, October 27.
The City boss, who also felt his side should have had a second-half penalty for a handball against Mark Lees, said: “I think it will get to a point when you’re having seven versus eight if the laws are applied like they were on Saturday because it was getting to the point of ridiculous.
“By the letter of the law, it was denying a goal-scoring opportunity (Lee Ayres), but a goal-scoring opportunity at the moment is if the player is inside the penalty area and you’re the last defender.
“I think common sense has to prevail.
“To the letter of the law, I’ve got no complaints it was a red card if he made the foul, but I thought the player went down very easily.
“I think Rob made a genuine attempt to get the ball but miss-timed it.
“It probably warranted a yellow card and it was his second but, in my opinion, the game’s becoming a non-contact sport.
“I don’t think anyone will agree with the way the game's going with the FA — every tackle is a booking if you don't get the ball. It’s getting to the point of ridiculous. Within the rules it’s correct, but I think the rules are wrong.”
Leading scorer Mike Symons missed the Stalybridge game with a hamstring problem sustained in the FA Cup victory over Weston-super-Mare.
However, Heeley is hopeful of having him available for this weekend's fourth qualifying round match at Bromley.