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Glenavon consider appeal against Gary Hamilton suspension

By Graham Luney

Published 21/10/2016

Four-game ban: Gary Hamilton is alleged to have thrown a punch
Four-game ban: Gary Hamilton is alleged to have thrown a punch

Glenavon are likely to appeal the four-match ban dished out to their player-boss Gary Hamilton for violent conduct.

Lurgan Blues chairman Adrian Teer says the club is "disappointed" with the punishment imposed by the IFA's disciplinary committee, however Hamilton, the player, is alleged to have aimed a punch at Dungannon Swifts' Chris Hegarty, who feels that video evidence of the incident indicates an arm may have been swung in his direction.

Glenavon challenged the September 17 dismissal, claiming referee Mervyn Smyth had made an obvious error.

The former Northern Ireland international received a two-match ban for the offence, and another two for later comments made to the official.

He was also given an additional two-match ban, which was suspended for six months.

In rejecting the appeal, the IFA's disciplinary committee said it was not satisfied Glenavon had proven their case.

Hamilton's suspension comes into effect on Monday unless the club submits an appeal, and Teer hinted that may happen.

"The Board are considering the outcome of this disciplinary committee verdict and we will hold discussions with Gary to determine whether to take this matter further," he said.

"The club is very disappointed with the decision and we will consider an appeal."

Hamilton maintains his innocence and he has never before been sent off for throwing a punch at anyone during his playing career.

A Mourneview Park source said: "Two assistant referees and a fourth official did not see a punch being thrown.

"The referee also accused Gary of throwing a series of punches but his story changed when television footage was viewed.

"The club feels an injustice has been done and they probably will not let this rest."

After learning that Glenavon had lost their appeal, Hegarty said: "At the time of the incident I wasn't sure what happened as there was a tangle and my head was on the ground. When I watched the footage back I did see an arm swinging around in my direction and the referee has made his decision. I felt it was 'handbags' but Mervyn Smyth thought there was something there that deserved a red card."

In April last year, then Portadown defender Chris Casement won an appeal against a six-match ban for head-butting after his case was supported by evidence provided by the Dungannon Swifts player involved, Terry Fitzpatrick.

The suspension is a bitter pill to swallow for Glenavon, who hope to bounce back against Ballymena United tomorrow after winning only one of their last six Premiership battles.

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