An alleged case of mistaken identity from referee Gary Sutton will see Mansfield Town’s midweek two-goal hero James Jennings suspended for two games, starting with Saturday’s visit of AFC Wimbledon.
Jennings was shown a yellow card in the superb 4-2 win at Hartlepool United on Tuesday, but he is adamant the dissent for which he was punished came from the mouth of Jamie McGuire, whose Scouse accent Jennings feels the referee should have been able to identify.
“It was very frustrating,” said Jennings. “I was aware I was on nine yellows and trying to be careful until the second Sunday in April when they get wiped.
“I ran over to take the free kick and Jamie gave the referee a real earful. Even though our accents are nothing like each other, he gave me the yellow card which was quite annoying.
“It is going to be frustrating. It happened when I got injured last season. I am always nervous when I am watching from the stands. I am a bad watcher.”
Left wing back Jennings put Stags ahead in the first half, turning home a Lee Beevers cross, but then slipped while taking a free kick to the far post, which helped to lift the ball higher than planned and under the far angle for a fortunate second goal.
“It was one of those where, from that position, we are always taught to aim to the far post and, if no one gets on the end of it, it still put the keeper under a bit of pressure,” he said.
“But I slipped as I took it and it ended up going a bit too high and thankfully it ended up going in the top bin.
“I had really hurt my ankle so I didn’t see where it ended up, then I had all the players jumping on me.
“They started trying to help me with my ankle as they thought I’d got cramp which I hadn’t.”
“The most important thing was we’d got the win.
He added: “It was nice to get on the scoresheet. Lee Beevers put in a great cross for the first goal.
“It was quite gutting that they quickly got back into the game. But we didn’t give up and we fought back.
“When we got back into the changing room and saw the other results had gone our way, it was a pretty nice feeling on the bus on the way home.
“Anything can happen until we are mathematically safe. We want to try to stay unbeaten now until the end of the season and get as many points on the boards we can.
“AFC Wimbledon got a great result on Tuesday and will be feeling confident, but not as confident as we are feeling.”
Manager Paul Cox said: “There was a bit of controversy about the booking. He went to pick up the ball, as it was our free kick at the time, and he wanted to get on with the game.
“He will be a big loss as he was playing well and he has scored us a few goals of late.
“JJ has come on leaps and bounds. Now it’s up to whoever comes in to cement their place.
“Junior Daniel is one option I have or I could tweak the system. We will see how everyone’s legs are and look at bumps and cuts from the other night.”