Lower Hutt football club Stop Out has appealed against star striker Joe Gaughan's 11-month ban for violent conduct.
Stop Out chairman Neil Kemp and Capital Football chief executive Richard Reid confirmed today that the club had appealed against the length of the suspension dished out this week following an ugly Capital Premier game against Lower Hutt City on August 9.
The appeal hearing is set for Wednesday night and Stop Out have grounds to appeal on the basis that the suspension was greater than the minimum proscribed within the regulations.
Gaughan was found to have attacked Lower Hutt player-coach Alex McDonald at Hutt Park, sparking a bench-clearing brawl between the rival clubs.
The Englishman was also found to have verbally abused referee Bryan Botha and spectators.
Botha sent off four players during the match, two from each side.
"There were kicks to the upper body region and I know that it did look pretty bad, but I received no injuries," McDonald said.
"I can't be happy with it [the ban], it's a tragedy for all involved as far as I'm concerned, because the guy is a talented football player.
"It's bloody sad seeing a guy with that talent missing from the game. I don't really know Joe, but I absolutely hold no grudge. If I saw Joe tomorrow, I'd happily shake his hand and I hope he feels the same way."
With 24 goals, Gaughan is the runaway leader in the competition's golden boot race and league leaders Stop Out are on track for promotion to the top-tier Central League.
- The Dominion Post
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