Jack Diamond's second booking against Port Vale was 'particularly harsh', says Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver
Simon Weaver felt that the decision to show Jack Diamond a second yellow card during Harrogate Town’s 2-0 defeat at Port Vale was “particularly harsh”.
Trailing 1-0, the Sulphurites were reduced to 10 men deep in first-half stoppage time when their on-loan Sunderland winger challenged home goalkeeper Lucas Covolan for a high ball.
With Diamond already in the book following an early foul and having been warned by referee Andrew Kitchen after another indiscretion, the Harrogate boss conceded that his player was “on thin ice”.
But, Weaver does not believe that the 21-year-old’s collision with Covolan warranted a second caution.
“Obviously the sending off was disappointing from our point of view because it’s a big old pitch and it was a hot day. It took its toll,” he said.
“The way Jack went in, he was all eyes on the ball. He didn’t mean that last foul and the keeper has made the most of it.
“He [Covolan] is canny, we’ve seen him on Sky Sports before, we know what he’s like, and Jack has been sent off - that’s what happens in the modern-day game.
“I’m not sure where the referee was, but if you’ve got all eyes on the ball then I think you’re allowed to be whole-hearted. It’s a winger’s challenge, going for the ball.
“The referee has deemed it a yellow card, which I thought was particularly harsh. It’s gone against us today, and it will some other days, it’s just about how we react now.”
Weaver went on to reveal that he warned Diamond not to take any risks after he was spoken to by the match official, going on to say that he considered withdrawing the Black Cats youngster before he had the opportunity to get himself on the wrong side of Mr Kitchen once again.
“I'd asked the fourth official 'can you find out if it's one more foul and he's off?' and he said 'depends what kind of a foul',” he added.
“We were saying ‘be careful’ straight away. It did cross my mind to take him off. But after 25 minutes you’re looking at his confidence levels and we backed the lad at the time. We just said ‘be sensible’.
“It would have been a decision to make once we’d settled down at half-time, whether to change it because we didn’t want Jack to get sent off. But, we’ll live and learn.”
Weaver also backed Diamond himself to learn from Saturday’s mistake.
He continued: “He’ll learn from it will Jack.
“He’s a great player, a great lad. He’s full of remorse right now and as long as he learns from this he will go on to better things and he’ll be better for the experience.”
Vale took the lead on 27 minutes courtesy of David Worrall’s stunning first-time strike from around 25 yards out and doubled their advantage through James Wilson, just moments into the second period.
And Weaver insisted that the quality of those two goals meant that the hosts deservedly came out on top.
“I won't blame the defeat on the red card,” he added.
“Port Vale were worthy winners because of those two strikes.
“The first one was extraordinary and the second wasn’t too far behind it.”