PAUL LINWOOD believes his red card on Saturday was the worst decision he had experienced in his 15 year career.
The 30-year-old was shown a straight red card 14 minutes before half time by referee Jason Whiteley who accused the centre half of being the last man when he fouled Dan Holman in Chester’s 2-0 home defeat.
“The decision to send me off changed the game and put the team under pressure, especially when we haven’t been getting results,” Linwood said.“The decision ruined all our good hard work and it was gut-wrenching and hard-breaking.
“The referee didn’t know what he was doing. He called me over and we had a chat. I would have been disappointed with a booking, but when the red card came out it was the worse decision I’ve ever been involved in during my 15 years of football. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“The linesman said that I wasn’t last man and that it was a caution at best which makes things even worse for me because I’d rather go through someone than get a straight red for a nothing incident.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous and the referee told me to get off his pitch. And that’s when I went back to try and talk to him.
“All the lads had worked hard in the week, but that was all ruined by the officials. I’d be shocked if there was anyone in the ground who agreed that it was a red card.”
“We weren’t at our best on Saturday, but before the sending off it was quite an even game. There were no real chances and I think a 1-0 would have won it.
“We were always in the game until the red card was shown.
“From a personal point of view it really is mind-numbing because there’s nothing I or anyone else can do about it now.
“We haven’t got a game for two weeks, so I won’t be able to play for three weeks.”
Blues boss Neil Young admitted he was fuming Linwood’s red card.
“The only talking point from the game was the sending off,” Young said. “How the referee could give a red card for what Paul Linwood did is beyond me.
“I was standing next to the linesman and the linesman has told the referee it was a caution.
“He was looking right across the line like I was, but the referee believed it was a sending off and he must have been the only person in the ground who thought that.
“I spoke to the fourth official and he said the same as me, and the linesman told the ref it was a caution and he was looking right at it.
“You’ve got to be 100 per cent sure it is a sending off when you make a decision like that.
“The referee didn’t even give a free kick after the incident because they were grappling for five or six seconds before the ref decided it was a foul.
“I don’t know where he got that decision from but again we’re talking about officials. I can moan and groan all day, but why can’t they make decisions for themselves? Some decisions are made by the linesman when the referee is closer to the incident.”
Young believes his side could have carved something out of Saturday’s game if the referee hadn’t dismissed Linwood when the score was goalless.
He said: “It was difficult to make a judgement of the team because of going down to 10 men.
“I thought the lads put in a solid performance. They worked hard, looked to get on the ball, looked to pass it, and I thought we put in a good performance during the second half.
“If it had been 1-0 going into the last 10 or 15 minutes I think we could have had a chance of getting something out of the game.”