LINLITHGOW ROSE have been given a boost ahead of Saturday’s Emirates Scottish Junior Cup semi-final first leg at Prestonfield after the manager and coaching staff of their opponents Shotts Bon Accord were slapped with massive bans.
Shotts manager Tom McInally, his assistant Stewart Ralston and coach Brian Sheldon will all be banned from the dugout this weekend after incidents in the Scottish Junior Cup fourth round tie between Shotts and Benburb in February. McInally has been banned until the end of season 2013/14 for abusive and aggressive behaviour towards match officials. He was sent off during the game and then came back on to the field of play after a melee started at full time. He was subsequently dismissed again for this and for also kicking the Benburb goalkeeper. He was subsequently fined £400 for his behaviour.
Ralston and Sheldon were both handed eight-match suspensions for their part in the fracas. It means that the Hannah Park side, the current cup holders, will be without the core of their backroom staff for the crucial tie. The terms of the suspensions mean that trio are not allowed in the Shotts dressing-room an hour before the match, during half time and until 15 minutes after the match.
The three coaches have been informed of the decision and they have the right to appeal to the Scottish Football Association’s judicial panel. However, there is no guarantee that the bans will be reduced, as they SFA look unfavourably at any appeal which is used to circumvent a particular match. If McInally, Ralston and Sheldon do appeal, they may be able to take part in the Saturday’s game.
Scottish Junior Football Association secretary Tom Johnstone said: “The management committee looked at all aspects of the cases, the seriousness of the allegations and what the witnesses had to say before they made their decision. We expect club officials to behave in an appropriate manner.”