06:00PM, Tuesday 06 April 2021
Josh Coley says the responsibility for Maidenhead United’s narrow defeat to Eastleigh lies with him after he was sent off at York Road on Monday afternoon.
The Magpies winger was shown a straight red card by referee Steven Copeland in the 66th minute after kicking out at Spitfires defender Andrew Boyce in a tussle for possession.
As it is his second red of the season, he will now miss Maidenhead’s next four league matches against Barnet (H), Yeovil Town (A), Stockport (A) and Wealdstone (A), should the club choose not to appeal the decision.
He won’t be able to return until towards the end of the month, when the Magpies host Woking on April 24 and Weymouth on April 27.
After a lacklustre first half display, Maidenhead emerged from the break on the front foot and created some half chances, however, any optimism swiftly dissipated when Coley received his marching orders.
At the time Maidenhead looked the dominant side and more likely to score, and, while the 22-year-old claims he had no intention of kicking Boyce, he admitted afterwards he’d cost his team the chance of victory.
“That result is on me. If I play the full 90, we end up winning that game,” he said.
“In the second half, we came flying out of the gates, put them under pressure, and then I got myself sent off.
“I understand what it looked like, but I had no intention of kicking him.
“After being fouled, I’ve rolled myself onto the ball and because it’s happened at such a pace, the following action is me flicking my legs back to stop myself from rolling again.
“But the Eastleigh player has come in and it looked like I kicked him in the chest.
“It was just a silly five seconds. I thought we were just going to get up and move on, but the referee had made up his mind and came running over with the red card out.
“We shouldn’t have lost the game but that was on me. I’ve taken responsibility for that.”
Asked if their play-off hopes had now been dashed, Coley added: “A lot of people think the play offs are out of our reach, but Halifax are in 7th, we’ve got two games on them, and they’re six points off us.
“We just need to find ourselves again.
“We have taken on a little bit too much pressure to try and consistently stay within the pack. But I think what worked for us best was when we were playing with that freedom before the Christmas break.
“I won’t be back until the end of April now, but I know the boys will be alright without me. They need to find their feet again, and it’s only a matter of time before that happens.”
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