League One farce as ref sends off WRONG Bolton player for apparent punch vs Forest Green with fans and players bemused

    THERE were farcical scenes in League One on Tuesday evening after a ref sent off the wrong player.

    Bolton vs Forest Green was marred by the referee showing red to the host’s Dion Charles.

    Bolton's Dion Charles was wrongly shown a red card instead of Elias Kachunga against Forest Green

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    Bolton’s Dion Charles was wrongly shown a red card instead of Elias Kachunga against Forest GreenCredit: Getty
    Kachunga appeared to punch an opponent as Charles focused on the football

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    Kachunga appeared to punch an opponent as Charles focused on the footballCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

    The two sides clashed on a freezing night at the University of Bolton Stadium.

    And the hosts got off to a flyer when Charles fired them ahead with just six minutes on the clock.

    However, the fan favourite soon became the victim of mistaken identity when he was shown a straight red card in the 28th minute.

    Charles was merely a bystander when an incident occurred between team-mate Elias Kachunga and Forest Green defender Brandon Cooper.

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    The pair tangled in the box as Charles waited for a ball to be played in.

    And video replay showed Kachunga appearing to punch his opponent in the midriff.

    But as play was paused by the linesman, referee Tom Nield got the wrong end of the stick.

    Instead of making a beeline for Kachunga, the official instead made his way over to Charles.

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    Charles' night started well when he scored a sixth minute opener

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    Charles’ night started well when he scored a sixth minute openerCredit: Getty
    Despite playing with 10 men for over an hour, Bolton held on for a 1-0 win

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    Despite playing with 10 men for over an hour, Bolton held on for a 1-0 winCredit: Getty

    The prolific striker was having a drink of water on the sideline when Nield showed him a red card, prompting major confusion.

    Fans chanted “you’re not fit to referee” as Charles protested his innocence to no avail.

    And many others flooded Twitter to question the decision, including Bolton’s official account.

    The admin uploaded a post saying: “Dion Charles has been sent off. Some confusion around the ground, we’re not sure what’s happened there!?”

    Jokers Specsavers got in on the fun, replying: “We’re heading over immediately.”

    One fan declared: “EFL unfit for purpose. 100 per cent appeal that.”

    Another noted: “Unbelievable that Kachunga hasn’t owned up it’s him after seeing the red card.”

    One added: “Of all the mistakes to make, sends off our top scorer and leaves our worst player on.”

    Bolton boss Ian Evatt was stunned by the decision.

    He said afterwards: “We cannot deny that Elias has let everybody down, showing that lack of discipline is not acceptable and he’s apologised to the group.

    “For the linesman to spot it is a good spot but then to get a player involved and sent off who was 15 yards away from the incident is baffling.

    “There is enough finance in the game for us to be able to have VAR for every division in the English pyramid. This is equally important to us as it is to any Premier League team.”

    Despite being a man down for the rest of the game, Bolton managed to hold on to their slim advantage despite a second-half push from the visitors.

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    It saw Bolton end the game with just 37 per cent possession, but more crucially with all three points.

    Bolton remain fifth in the League One table as a result, with Forest Green still bottom.

    Source

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