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Ref Dick wrong to ruin Flitney dream

last updated Friday 28th October 2005, 2:56 PM
Zat Knight
Ross Flitney

Former Fulham goalkeeper Ross Flitney, now playing for Barnet, will not serve a suspension for his red card against Manchester United after the Football Association upheld his appeal for wrongful dismissal.

Flitney, 21, was dismissed by referee Richard Beeby less than two minutes into the Bees' Carling Cup defeat at Old Trafford.

The goalkeeper handled outside his penalty area and was given a straight red card by Beeby. United scored from the resulting free-kick and went on to win 4-1.

However, after his successful appeal Flitney will now be available for the Coca-Cola League Two clash against Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday (not quite Man Utd).

A statement from the FA read: "At a disciplinary commission hearing today Barnet goalkeeper Ross Flitney had his claim for wrongful dismissal upheld. He will therefore not serve any suspension."

It seems that Mr Dick Beeby got it wrong as a dismissal is only called for if a handball prevents a goal or goal scoring chance.

Flitney and his Barnet team mates had been looking forward to a dream Carling Cup clash against Man Utd at Old Trafford last night.

Unfortunately it all ended in disaster for Ross when he was sent off within 90 seconds, by referee Richard Beeby, for handling outside his area. After that Barnet never had a chance and Man Utd went on to win 4-1.

Flitney was not the only one to suffer, young striker Louie Soares was substituted without kicking a ball, as Barnet boss Fairclough was forced to call on replacement keeper Scott Tynan.

"It was a really cruel decision," said Fairclough.

"It ruined two players' nights. We all talk about the problems football has but there has got to be some soul and heart in the game.

"It wasn't malicious and Ross wasn't seeking to gain an advantage, it was just an error of judgement - surely a yellow card would have been enough.

"The lad was distraught, really distraught and we have also had to take off young Louie, who had not touched the ball and, like us all, had been looking forward to this night ever since the draw was made.

Flitney was in tears as he left the field and was consoled by former Fulham team-mate Edwin van der Sar at half-time after the Dutchman made his way down from the stand.

"Surely we need some commonsense. Everyone was stunned by it. It shattered a young boy's dream.
Source SportingLife
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