Doncaster Rovers: Dickov facing striker shortage after Sharp red card

Rovers may appeal Billy Sharp's red card.
Rovers may appeal Billy Sharp's red card.
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Paul Dickov is facing an unwanted striker shortage - at the worst possible time - after Billy Sharp saw red at Brighton.

Sharp now looks set to miss the huge double-header with relegation rivals Barnsley and Yeovil, as well as the trip to Bournemouth, after being sent off for a clash with former Rovers defender Gordon Greer during the closing stages of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the Amex Stadium.

Doncaster are weighing up an appeal against the red card, but the odds of the decision being overturned appear to be stacked against them.

With Harry Forrester still struggling to regain full fitness, that would leave Chris Brown as the only recognised senior striker for the next three games.

Sharp’s sending off - the first of his professional career - capped a miserable afternoon for the 28-year-old after he wasted a gilt-edged chance to break the deadlock shortly after the re-start, heading James Coppinger’s cross wide from six yards out.

Should they launch an appeal, Rovers would have to prove referee Gavin Ward made an ‘obvious mistake’ in sending off Sharp.

If the FA deem such an appeal to be frivolous, they could add an extra game to Sharp’s three-game ban for violent conduct.

Dickov was due to speak to chief executive Gavin Baldwin yesterday to discuss the grounds for an appeal.

“Billy, if anything, has pushed his shoulder into his chest,” said Rovers’ boss in his post-match interview.

“There’s confusion from my players about who gave the decision and what the sending-off was even for.

“After seeing it again we feel there might possibly be grounds to appeal. “I don’t think he should miss three games because I don’t think it was a sending-off.”

He added: “Billy was a little bit frustrated with missing his chance and that was possibly a factor in him reacting a little bit.”

Resolute Rovers seemed destined for a stalemate with the Seagulls until Leonardo Ulloa got in between Bongani Khumalo and Abdoulaye Meite to head home a 75th minute winner.

Dickov said: “We feel a bit unlucky. We’re disappointed to lose but I’m proud of my players.

“We were outstanding. We knew they are a top team and we almost weathered the storm and got something from the game.

“In the second half we caused them some problems. We created more clear-cut chances throughout the game.”