Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver was unwilling to lay the blame at the feet of midfielder Warren Burrell after watching his side play out a “painful” 1-1 draw against Curzon Ashton.
The former Sheffield Wednesday trainee was sent off for a second time in his short Town career in the ninth minute, three minutes after the visitors had been reduced to ten men themselves when Joe Guest kicked out at Paul Clayton.
Burrell caught Curzon midfielder Chris Rowney with his studs in following through a tackle and referee Paul Newhouse had little hesitation in brandishing a red card.
Burrell was also sent off in Town’s 5-0 win over FC United of Manchester last month and was returning to the side from the ensuing three-match ban.
Weaver said: "He flies into tackles. Part of the reason why he enjoys playing here is that I like those fired up players. I could see before the game he was up for it.
"We missed him massively. To get a proper indication, I will have to go through it on the video. He caught the man, not the man he was tackling, it was the momentum of his challenge.
"I will have to see it. I always support my players until I have proper evidence.
"If it is a legitimate red card, of course I will be disappointed - he’s a massive player for me.
"I always say to him that he’s going to go from Evo-Stik Premier to National Premier if we play our cards right and get the relevant results.
"I think he’s been one of the best players in the league recently. He needs to be on the pitch to keep going like that.”
Burrell will receive a four-match ban for his second sending off in Town colours, which will rule him out of the majority of the club’s push for a play-off spot.
Weaver said: "He will be missed, undoubtedly. He’s an athlete and a player that I really like.
"These things happen. We have to be strong enough as a unit not to use it as an excuse."
Town lacked creativity in the dour draw and required Brendon Daniels' second half penalty - which saw Rowney sent off for deliberate handball in the build up - to rescue a point.
Weaver’s men have now not scored in open play in 450 minutes of National League North action, with only three points taken from their last five games.
However, results around the play-off zone continue to fall in Town’s favour and the Wetherby Roaders remain in fourth place.
Despite North Ferriby United and Nuneaton Town winning, Tamworth, Boston United and league leaders Solihull Moors all dropped points on a topsy-turvy Easter Saturday.
Weaver added: "Looking at the other results, after quite a painful afternoon, it’s probably a point gained.
"We are in that pack. Four of five points ahead of being out of it. Those teams didn’t get the results today and we have two games in hand.
"Life could be a lot worse."
Liam Hearn and Lewis Turner both missed the draw through injury and Weaver said both would remain sidelined for Easter Monday’s Yorkshire derby at Bradford Park Avenue.
Former Leeds United youngster Turner has tendinitis in his knee and could face a long spell on the sidelines. Hearn has a hip flexor problem and is hopeful of being available to face Stalybridge Celtic at the CNG Stadium on Saturday.
Park Avenue have been fighting in the lower reaches of the table this season but picked up a 1-0 win over Chorley in former York City defender Darren Edmondson’s first game in charge as manager.
AFC Fylde were beating Edmondson’s side 1-0 on Saturday before the match was abandoned in the first half due to a waterlogged pitch.
Town have not won in their last three visits to the Horsfall Stadium but won the reverse fixture 2-1 at home in August.
Weaver added: "It’s one of the tough places to go. I watched them grind out a result against Chorley last week - new manager syndrome, so it’s still in the honeymoon period.
"We have to go there and work our socks off. Not think about any other game in the week. This is a local derby and we have to give it what for."