Livingston manager David Martindale explains bizarre red card and backing from Hibs keeper David Marshall

Livingston manager David Martindale insists Hibs goalkeeper David Marshall would back him if he opts to appeal his red card for an offensive gesture on a day when everything went wrong for his team.
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The “frustrated and angry” Lions boss revealed that he was sent off in injury time for showing the middle finger in jest to indicate that there was one minute left to play after Marshall had shouted to ask the fourth official how long was left.

Martindale insists Marshall himself had laughed at the time and said the keeper told the Livi boss in the tunnel after full-time that he would support him in any appeal. He feels referee Chris Graham took the gesture out of context.

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Speaking after the 4-1 home defeat, Martindale explained: “Marshall asked how long was to go and I shouted back ‘there’s a minute left’ with my middle finger. He laughed, I laughed and I got sent off for making an offensive gesture.

Livingston manager David Martindale was sent off for an offensive gesture. Picture: Robert Perry/PALivingston manager David Martindale was sent off for an offensive gesture. Picture: Robert Perry/PA
Livingston manager David Martindale was sent off for an offensive gesture. Picture: Robert Perry/PA

“Marshall grabbed me in the tunnel and asked if I got sent off for that. I said yes, and he said that if I needed him to say anything to please let him know. I just said there was a minute left [and gestured] and then I was sent off. If I was to swear then I think that’s a sending off.

“Maybe I let the boys down a wee bit with that. I never done it in that context, it wasn’t in anger. Marshall and I were both laughing. The referee said he didn’t want to send me off and I said ‘but you did’. Surely in that context it is not offensive and that must carry a bit of weight. I would argue it wasn’t done in an offensive way. It was a bit of banter with Marshall. He laughed, I laughed and that was it.”

Asked if he would appeal, Martindale said he would “need to get advice on that”. It was a frustrating day all round for the Livi boss. His team finished the match with nine men after Jack Fitzwater was sent off early in the second and Stephane Omeonga went off injured after all the home subs had been used. Goalkeeper Shamal George picked up a thumb injury and Livi have now suffered four defeats in a row.

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“It’s probably unheard of this season, but I have been here 100 times before,” added Martindale. “At a club of this size you lose games of football but I think our performance level since the Inverness defeat hasn’t been there. The boys have lost a wee bit of confidence and belief in themselves and we need to try and get that back.

“We have a hit a wee bit of a wobble but the way we defended really wasn’t good enough and that’s all over the park, from the number 9 through to the centre-halves. Everything that could have went wrong went wrong, including myself getting sent off late on.

"We've got to do better collectively as a defensive unit all over the park. The goals we gave away, they were very, very poor. We allowed them to press us. We invited them into our own half and we gave the ball away and it led to aimless balls up the park."