MOTHERWELL have confirmed they have lodged an appeal against the red card which threatens to rule striker Scott McDonald out of their play-off survival fight.
The Australian was shown a straight red card by referee Brian Colvin in the final minute of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to St Mirren after deciding he had put his elbow into the face of Buddies player Thomas Reilly.
The loss in Paisley means Well must now defeat the winner of this week’s play-off semi-final duel between Rangers and Hibernian if they are to maintain their 30-year run in the top flight.
But McDonald may be forced to watch on from the stands if the Scottish Football Association upholds Colvin’s claim that the former Celtic frontman committed an act of violent conduct and dishes out a three-game ban.
However, Reilly has already spoken out on McDonald’s behalf to insist the 31-year-old meant no harm as they both jumped for a high ball.
Now the Steelmen hope disciplinary bosses see the incident the same way after submitting an appeal for “wrongful dismissal”.
Manager Ian Baraclough said: “I am massively disappointed as it was a poor decision in my eyes.
“Scott’s absolutely not that type of player. I saw it with my own eyes at the time and I never had any thoughts whatsoever that it would even be a foul, let alone a red card.
“Having watched it back again several times, I think it’s fairly clear for everyone to see that he hasn’t gone with any aggression or attempted to hurt the player and that’s the view of the lad Reilly himself, who I was pleased to read today thinks it was an incorrect decision.
“For me, it’s a case of a striker doing what he should do, making his body as big as it can be to try and shield the ball. There was no excessive force used, no violence in my eyes and that is the foundation for our appeal.”
Well general manager Alan Burrows added: “Our football administrator Karen Paterson has already submitted a player reference for fast tracking proceedings to the Compliance Officer, and will follow that with the relevant evidence tomorrow.
“We had what I felt was a very fair and thorough experience when we appealed Stephen McManus’ red card in January and I expect the same again this week.”