Independent Match Review Panel impose minimum suspension for Central Coast Mariners striker Roy O’Donovan

The Central Coast Mariners have confirmed that Roy O’Donovan will serve the minimum one-match suspension after being sent off after 23 minutes in the game against Melbourne City at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

Tim Cahill opened the scoring for the home side by slotting in the first of his two goals through a set piece, while the Irishman – who is the top scorer for the Mariners – managed to equalise with a well placed right-footed shot that went into the top corner of the net.

However, with 23 minutes gone, the 31-year-old was shown a red card after a waving arm caught Michael Jackobsen in the face. The forward had walked off the pitch shaking his head, as his side had to contend with 10 men for the remainder of the game.

Just over 15 minutes later, an excellent cross from Luke Brattan saw Cahill head the ball back into the net.

The match stayed as it was for the remainder of the game as City’s patchy performance saw them pick up three points anyway, while Paul Okon’s men continued to be the cellar-dwellers in the league.

Meanwhile, an independent Match Review Panel (MRP) decided on O’Donovan’s fate following the match and have concluded that the former Sunderland hitman will serve the minimum one-match suspension following the incident.

“Whilst we accept the decision and understand the process, this hurts as a double whammy,” said Mariners’ CEO Shaun Mielekamp, according to the club’s official website.

“Not only did Roy miss out on 70 minutes against City but he now also misses an additional match.

“The MRP did what they could within the regulations they have before them and as a club we could not risk the possibility of missing Roy for an additional week if we put in an appeal for an obvious error that has such a high threshold…”

The Mariners will clash with Perth Glory at home on Saturday without O’Donovan, knowing that they have lost seven of their last eight matches in the league.

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