THIS is the challenge - described as ‘malicious’ - which put goalkeeper Andy Warrington out of action with head wounds at Gillingham on Tuesday night.
Gills midfielder Curtis Weston caused anger amongst Rotherham United players when he put his boot onto the head of the grounded goalkeeper who already had the ball in his grasp at his chest.
“It was malicious,” blasted Millers manager Ronnie Moore. “Once the goalkeeper has got hold of it, then do you go on with the challenge?,” asked Moore.
“Things like that have to be scrubbed out of the game. I’ve been in that situation myself when I was a centre forward and when the ‘keeper has the ball you don’t go through with your challenge.”
Most people would not have been surprised had referee Darren Sheldrake shown the 24-year-old, who was once at Leeds, the red card instead of just booking him.
“He was very fortunate it was only a yellow (card),” added Moore who, after the incident, exchanged angry words on the touchline with Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler.
Warrington, injured after half-an-hour, had to be replaced and he had a total of ten stitches in three separate wounds on his head including five in one of the gashes.
It will put a doubt over his availability for Saturday’s trip to Chris Wilder’s Oxford United although it will be a late decision.
The 3-1 defeat was a fourth on the trot away from home and saw them drop out of the top three in League Two.
Moore was critical of the side’s defending and an inability to deal with striker Cody McDonald who caused more goal threat than any striker the Millers have come across this season.
On a season-long loan from Norwich, his pace and movement was too hot from Rotherham to handle and he is on a particularly hot streak having scored 13 goals in his last 14 appearances.
He now has 17, two behind Adam Le Fondre who received a fifth booking but this doesn’t trigger a suspension as the cut-off date was Dec 31.