MANNY SMITH hopes justice prevails after Wrexham appealed against his sending-off at Maidstone United.
Smith was shown a straight red card by referee Sam Allison in the 68th minute of the Reds’ 2-1 away defeat for what was deemed to be a professional foul on Joe Pigott.
From video footage it appears as though Smith made a legitimate challenge for the ball and under the new ‘double jeopardy’ rules the decision to dismiss the central defender appeared harsh.
Wrexham had until 1pm yesterday to lodge an appeal, and having done that, Smith is hopeful that he is free to play against Woking at The Racecourse on Saturday.
“Hopefully I am available for Saturday,” said Smith. “I’m hopeful the decision can be overruled because I am not the sort of player to pick up a lot of cards, especially red cards.”
Smith admitted surprise at Allison’s decision to award a penalty, and was left ‘devastated’ when the referee brandished a red card.
To make matters worse for Wrexham, Mark Carrington was shown a second yellow card in the aftermath for trying to explain the ‘double jeopardy’ ruling to Allison.
Smith explained: “As soon as I made the challenge I thought we were just going to play on, but then the referee blew his whistle.
“I was a bit devastated when the penalty was given, but then thought that I would just get shown a yellow card at most if he believed I’d committed a foul.
“Once he pulled out the red card I was devastated. I didn’t think he could justify showing me a red card.”
Smith has watched the incident back ‘a 100 times’ and does have some sympathy with Allison, who attempted to clarify the situation with his assistant referee.
“I’ve looked at it from every angle,” added Smith. “I’ve looked at the position of the referee to the incident, I’ve slowed it down, I’ve looked at the timing of the challenge.
“The referee blew for the penalty and I heard him ask his linesman what he saw. I thought ‘he’s going to reverse the decision here’ but the linesman didn’t have a clear view.
“I hoped the referee might ask the fourth official for an opinion, but refereeing isn’t an easy job.
“I just hope that I am available for Saturday, and in the end the penalty was saved.”
With Smith and Carrington consigned to taking an early bath Wrexham, who took the lead through loan striker Alex Reid, were up against it at 2-1 down with around 20 minutes left to play.
Smith fancied Wrexham’s chances of getting something out of the game if it had remained 11 versus 11. I thought we could get back into the game,” said Smith. “There had been three goals in the first-half and it’s the way games often go that in the second-half there are goals because people get tired.
“But with nine men the boys presented themselves really well. It would have been easy to fold when the game went to nine versus 11.
“It was a bit disappointing but we have to move on.”
Wrexham have won two of their five matches this season – both victories coming in midweek – as they sit 13th in the National League table.
Smith isn’t panicking, however, adding: “It is still early in the season and it is important not to feel sorry for ourselves.
“We know what we are capable of and when you look at the table we are not the only team that shouldn’t be in the position we currently are.”