BRIDPORT manager Adam Fricker told View Sport that he was disappointed in the four match ban the FA have imposed on Louis Rutter writes Stuart Broom.
The midfielder reacted to being bitten on the bicep by Wells City’s Ryan Pledger just before the end of the 2-2 draw at St Mary’s Field on Saturday.
The incident happened in the last minute of normal time when Rutter and substitute Pledger clashed with the Bees trailing 2-1 and looking for an equaliser. Referee Craig Scriver dismissed both players following the clash, citing Rutter for violent conduct.
However, Fricker is upset that his player has not only been banned but for four games. Talking just after receiving the news on Tuesday morning he said: “The referee explained after the game that he felt he had no option but to send Louis off for raising his hands as reaction to the incident which left teeth marks on his arms, but I would expect anyone to react if they had been bitten like that.
“I had hoped that the FA would have taken the referee’s report into consideration which states he was bitten, and looked at it sensibly, but obviously they have not.” He added that the club took pictures of the bite after the game and that Rutter had sent him further photos on Tuesday.
“With the rapidity that the decision came through it would appear they have handed him the standard three match ban plus one more for having been sent off earlier in the season, and totally ignored the fact that it was a natural reaction to a very violent incident.”
CLUB TO APPEAL
The Club are to appeal the four match ban. The decision was taken following a management meeting last night (Tuesday).
Despite referee Craig Scriven’s report confirming that Pledger did bite Rutter’s arm, he also dismissed Rutter citing violent conduct, although eyewitnesses say it was no more than a push in reaction to the pain.
Fricker said: “The referee explained after the game that he felt he had no option but to send Louis off for raising his hands as reaction to the incident which left teeth marks on his arms, but I would expect anyone to react if they had been bitten like that.”
The incident overshadowed the game that saw the Bees fight back from two goals down at the break to add another point to the three collected earlier in the week when beating Sherborne Town, scoring the equaliser in added time after the biting incident.
After a fairly even start Wells City took the lead when Leon Britton got in front of his marker at the near post from a free kick to score with a stooping header. Bridport created their own chances and both Mark Salter and Ed Butcher saw shots saved, before George Carey score a second with a good shot from the edge of the box. Butcher brought hope midway through the second half when he picked up a clearance to fire home a 25-yard half volley.
It appeared that a tiring Wells would hold on to take the points, but following the biting incident, Leigh Bailey salvaged a welcome, and deserved point, by smashing the ball home through a crowded area.
Fricker said: “It was a pleasing point in the end to come back from a poor 20-30 minutes in the first half that saw us 2-0 down. However, what they did in the second half was a credit to them and four points from six certainly pleased us after our recent run. All in all given where we were at half time, we were happy with a point.”