Leith Athletic ponder red appeal after draw

Neil Lowson
Neil Lowson
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Leith Athletic will decide whether or not to appeal the red card given to defender Neil Lowson in their top-of-the- table clash with Easthouses Lily at Meadowbank.

Dave McQueenie’s side salvaged a point from the game when Paul McDermott converted a late penalty to ensure a 2-2 draw, moments after Lowson had been given his marching orders for an apparent handball on the line.

Athletic manager Derek Riddel acknowledges the financial implications of such an appeal, but felt Lowson did not intend to handle deliberately after McDermott had rounded Leith keeper Ian Gordon with the goal in his sights.

“Having looked at the video replay, it shows Neil handling the ball, but not deliberately. The referee told Neil it was a sending off for deliberate handball. It’s not denying a goalscoring opportunity as we had another defender on the line, but the decision whether or not to appeal is one I’ll have to think about. We can have no complaints about the penalty itself, whilst the red card may have been harsh.”

Riddel’s side were denied the three points, having recovered from the loss of another Paul McDermott goal before half-time, with quick-fire strikes from Lewis Tracey and Chris Beaton putting the unbeaten league leaders in front with 13 minutes left to play.

McQueenie was left feeling frustrated with the outcome of the match having held the lead for the majority of the game.

He said: “The main feeling for me is one of deflation, even although we scored the late penalty. We held the lead for so long against the best team in the league, scored a good set-piece goal from Paul (McDermott) and probably had the better of the first half.

“We’ve conceded two goals from set-pieces ourselves which was very hard to take, but the heads didn’t go down, and I suppose to come away from Leith Athletic feeling disappointed with a draw, shows you how much progress we have made as a club.”

McQueenie also believes his side have been unfairly labelled as “too physical” in their first season back in The Central Taxis Premier League, with technical ability also a key factor in their recent resurgence.

“We’ve got boys like Graeme Young and Mark Brown to name but a few, who are very technically aware when they have the ball at their feet and like to play in other guys into the right spaces on the park.

“We can be physical at times as you need to be in this league in order to survive, but I wouldn’t say we’re overly physical, we just try to close our opponents down and we had to do that today against a side who will slaughter you if you give them the space and time to play. I think we have a bit more variety to our game.”