With Birmingham City holding on against Coventry City on Tuesday evening at the CBS Arena, Lee Bowyer’s side were hamstrung on 82 minutes thanks to Ryan Woods.
The Sky Blues were on the counter attack looking for the opening goal when wing-back Ian Maatsen was scythed down by the central midfielder just past the halfway line.
It was a cynical foul by Woods and he was fully expecting to be booked with covering defenders helping him out – but to his surprise the red card was brandished.
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There was much uproar and debate on social media as to whether it was deserving of a red card or not and the Blues clearly did not think the referee made the right decision as they appealed the sending off ahead of this weekend’s clash with Blackpool.
However it has been thrown out and it means that Woods will now serve a three-match ban for serious foul play, meaning he misses the visit of the Seasiders as well as a visit to his former club Millwall and also Cardiff City.
With Gary Gardner also suspended for another two matches, Birmingham are now short of options in the middle of the park.
Gardner’s dismissal against Hull was an act of stupidity but Woods’ was a lot less clear-cut – some are wanting challenges like his to be clamped down on more whilst others think it was nothing more than a cynical attempt to stop an attack.
Regardless though the decision has now been made and Ivan Sunjic will be looking for a new midfield partner – it could be that 17-year-old Jordan James has to be drafted in for his first league start after coming off the bench against Cov.
That would be a baptism of fire against an in-form Blackpool side but Bowyer doesn’t have much to choose from and it could be a long afternoon for the Blues on home turf.