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Lincoln City have confirmed that Billy Knott's red card against Notts County has not been overturned. The 24-year-old was given his marching orders by referee Sebastian Stockbridge 28 minutes into the Magpies' 4-1 win at Meadow Lane after catching Ryan Yates in the face with a high boot. The appeal was considered by the FA on Monday afternoon and, the following day, a statement on the Imps site announced that the dismissal has been upheld. As a result Knott will serve a three-match suspension, starting with tonight’s game with Barnet. He will also sit out Saturday’s Lincolnshire derby at Grimsby Town and the home clash with Chesterfield on October 7. Knott voiced his opinion on Twitter following the decision. In Monday's press conference, Imps boss Danny Cowley had told the press: “It’s difficult for referees, I accept that, but on this occasion it’s really clear to me. “The ball is low, the player [Yates] is not in Billy’s eye line, he’s just helping it on. If you look at the footage and how both players land, you can see that Ryan Yates comes into Billy. “It was a harsh punishment to take on Saturday and ultimately it has cost us three points in my opinion because I thought we were in a really strong position in the game. Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
One of the main talking points between Notts County v Lincoln City was the 28th minute incident, where Billy Knott dangerously went in studs showing on Ryan Yates – which earned The Imps player a red card. However, despite the media and Lincoln manager Danny Cowley labelling it as the ‘changing moment’ – I would honestly disagree. The first half wasn’t productive for either sides, the way Lincoln set themselves up cancelled out both teams and the game ended largely even despite them going down to 10 men – which for me was the correct decision. Danny Cowley believes his players have ‘personal space’ on the pitch, but as an ex-footballer he should know there is no such thing. He said: “It’s quite clear that Billy Knott is about to hook the ball on and Ryan Yates, ridiculously bravely, throws his head into Billy’s personal space and there’s a bit of contact.” – yet what you see is a player going for a ball before any movement is made by any Lincoln player. What is ridiculous is the fact this bad challenge is being used as a very weak excuse as to why his side lost a football match. Knott dangerously kicks high, his studs are raised and it’s clear that with such a tight amount of space that any sort of high movement would be dangerous – I find it ludicrous that a manager wouldn’t acknowledge this, let alone believe he stands a chance at having the decision rescinded. Let’s face it, the red card wasn’t remotely the defining moment in the game but of course bitter people will suggest this. Despite going down to 10 men Lincoln still enjoyed spells of the first half, where I actually felt that they didn't appear to be without a player at all – they seemed to cope fine and even after Jon Stead scored they looked decent in control. I was taking pictures when they scored, however I spoke to several fans and they all praised Lincoln for getting back into the game. The defining moment was after they scored, Notts County simply got on with it and took control of the game by pulling themselves 2-1. This for me is the ‘defining moment’, as it appeared Notts had broken the chains which restrained them within the first half. You could argue that it created space, yet I encourage people who read this – go back and look at how Lincoln organised themselves. And the Pride of Nottingham Man of the Match Jon Stead deserves a lot of praise with how he dealt with being heavily marked – perhaps if Lincoln hadn’t decided to stick multiple players on him they would have handled the space better. Seriously, I believe there was a positive reaction to Lincoln scoring and I know Kevin Nolan has mentioned that he sees we have 6-7 leaders on the pitch but it was almost like the opposition side didn’t exist, regardless if they was one man down. After Matt Tootle scored, Lincoln seemed to be broken. Perhaps it was frustration or simply that Notts did truly shown their class within the squad half – yet whatever we threw at them they simply didn’t defend well. There’s little excuses beyond how Lincoln defended, hence why I feel that the red card is their way of clutching onto defeat. After the match, I walked back to the train station with a group of 100+ Lincoln fans due to the Nottinghamshire police pushing into their path and I didn’t hear any complaints about the red card or the referee. The only comment I heard was about how it would have been nice for them to end the game with 11 players on the pitch, yet notably accepted that they Notts ‘were one of the better teams’ The Imps had played. I actually felt they gave us a decent game, and played some good stuff attacking wise but from a defensive point of view they panicked, simple as that. Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.