STRIKER Scott McDonald has been cleared to rejoin Motherwell’s fight for survival after the red card he received against St Mirren was downgraded to a yellow.
The Australian forward feared he would sit out the first leg of the Scottish Premiership play-off final with either Rangers or Hibernian after his controversial dismissal in Paisley.
The officials made a decision and I was angry with them at the time. I know they’ve only got a split second to make the call but I’m glad they’ve seen it for what it really wasScott McDonald
The former Celtic and Middlesbrough striker was sent off a minute from time as his side lost 2-1 to St Mirren after fourth official Andrew Dallas informed referee Brian Colvin he had aimed an elbow at Saints youngster Thomas Reilly.
But television pictures show contact between the pair was minimal. Now, after appealing the decision to the Scottish Football Association’s judicial panel at a fast track tribunal hearing at Hampden yesterday morning, McDonald has been cleared to play in tomorrow’s final Premiership game at home to Partick Thistle as well as in both legs of the play-off decider later this month.
A relieved McDonald said: “I’ll be honest, I’ve been devastated since it happened.
“I couldn’t believe the ref brandished the red card, as I genuinely didn’t think I had made any contact.
“The officials made a decision and I was angry with them at the time. I know they’ve only got a split second to make the call but I’m glad they’ve seen it for what it really was.
“All my focus is now on trying everything I can to keep Motherwell in the SPFL Premiership.”
Alan Burrows, the Motherwell, general manager added: “I would like to once again thank the compliance officer Tony McGlennan and his staff for arranging the hearing so swiftly along with the members of the panel who sat and considered our case.
“It’s another satisfying conclusion, similar to our Stephen McManus appeal last January and Scott can now fully focus on some big games for the club over the next 10 days.”
MacDonald rejoined Motherwell in February after being released by Millwall and has scored five goals in 11 games during his second spell with the Fir Park club.