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Football: Upset Trundle calling for Vetch appeal on red card.

Byline: Ian Hunt

LEE TRUNDLE last night expressed his misery at being sent off in Saturday's clash at York and insisted, 'I didn't do anything wrong.'

And Swansea's leading scorer is hoping the club will today appeal against his dismissal for violent conduct 18 minutes into the dismal scoreless draw at Bootham Crescent.

Trundle is facing a three-match ban after he and York defender Richard Hope were both given their marching orders for an altercation in the 18-yard box that sparked an ugly 21-man melee.

Leicestershire referee Brian Curson told the Swansea camp afterwards that Trundle and Hope had been dismissed for lashing out at each other after becoming entangled on the ground.

Trundle, though, insisted NO punches were thrown - but claimed Hope had elbowed him in the stomach.

'I couldn't believe it when the referee showed me the red card because I didn't do anything wrong,' said the 13-goal striker.

'What happened was I was grappling with the defender on the floor and he elbowed me in the stomach - the television replays clearly show that.

'I was trying to get off the floor and we were wrestling with each other, but no punches were thrown.

'What made the situation look far worse was all the other players rushing in.

'When the referee took us to one side I thought he would show us a yellow card, but when the red came out I was gobsmacked

'I asked him why he was sending me off and he wouldn't answer the question. He just ignored me.'

Trundle spent the rest of the match in the dressing room, chewing over what had happened and contemplating a suspension that would rule him out of the trips to Doncaster and Torquay as well as the home date with Southend.

'Missing three games is the last thing I want,' he said. 'We're in a great position to push for automatic promotion and we could do without people being missing.

'I feel hard-done by over this. Even though I knew I had done nothing wrong, I sat in the dressing room and felt I had let the team down.

'If I had done something, I would hold my hands up and admit it. But I can't apologise for a decision the referee has made.

'I can only hope the referee looks at the video and realises I did not instigate anything.

'The gaffer (Brian Flynn) will look at the video and hopefully he will decide to lodge an appeal.

'But I'm not sure how successful we would be. I don't know whether the referee will change his mind.'

Swansea must pray that he does because, once again, Flynn's men lacked a cutting edge once Trundle was taken out of the equation.

With Kevin Nugent forced to go solo up front, the Swans were almost non-existent as an attacking threat and were forced to defend for long periods of this insipid encounter.

That Swansea managed to chisel out a point and remain sixth in Division Three, six points off the leaders Oxford, owed much to another inspired performance from goalkeeper Roger Freestone.

But whereas it was one last-gasp moment of brilliance that rescued the Swans against Darlington seven days earlier, this time Freestone had to fling himself all over the place for 90 minutes.

The veteran keeper must have felt York were using him for target practice, but he impressively repelled efforts from Darren Edmondson, Jon Shaw and Lee Bullock as the Minstermen chased a sixth home league win.

Leon Britton and Andy Robinson both tested York No 1 Mark Ovendale with decent efforts, but otherwise this was an afternoon in which Swansea needed to be resolute at the back.

It was not a particularly dirty match, but Curson nonetheless dished out five yellow cards - including one to Lenny Johnrose for a reckless late challenge on Lee Nogan that looked every bit a sending-off offence.

'What happened is going to cost Lee and it is going to cost us,' moaned Flynn.

As well as missing three vital matches in the run-up to Christmas, Trundle could be hit with a club fine if he is found to have committed an offence.

Swansea's director of football suggested the aggressive streak which characterises Trundle's game makes him more likely to fall foul of referees.

'There's an edge to Lee's game, I can't deny that,' said Flynn, who faces losing Nugent as well if he picks up one more booking.

'I would hope that would not lead to him getting red cards. He should be accustomed to physical challenges.

'But if you look at the season so far, Lee has been booked four times and sent off once and some of those bookings were silly.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 1, 2003
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