COLCHESTER United boss Danny Cowley admits the decision to uphold Samson Tovide's red card at Crawley Town is 'really frustrating'.

Tovide was sent off by referee Scott Oldham for violent conduct in the 88th minute of the U's 3-2 win at Crawley Town last weekend, following an off-the-ball altercation with Reds defender Laurence Maguire.

The 20-year-old striker had only been on the pitch for eight minutes, having come on as a substitute for Jayden Fevrier.

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Colchester appealed the decision but it was rejected meaning Tovide is now serving a four-match ban as it his second red card of the season, following his dismissal in the U's Carabao Cup first-round tie at Cardiff City, last August.

Cowley said: "We appealed Samson's red card after getting really good advice from the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Board) but it was unsuccessful which we're really frustrated about.

"He was sent off for violent conduct and the definition of violent conduct is excessive force or brutality.

"Anyone who's seen that back...I can say it was stupid conduct but it certainly wasn't violent conduct and it didn't warrant the four-game ban that Samson now serves.

Gazette: Samson Tovide

"We're coming out the wrong side of these decisions but it's not time for us to feel sorry for ourselves - we've still got work to do."

Tovide will miss Colchester's trip to play Notts County this weekend along with defender Tom Dallison, who is also suspended after being sent off in the latter stages of the victory over Grimsby Town, on Tuesday. 

Dallison was giving his marching orders for a foul on Justin Obikwu, in the final minutes of the 2-0 win over the Mariners.

Alistair Smith could also miss the Notts County game after limping out of the Grimsby game in the first half with an ankle injury, while Harry Anderson (hamstring), Fiacre Kelleher (groin) and Mandela Egbo are also sidelined.

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"We are short of men," said Cowley.

"We lost Alistair Smith (against Grimsby).

"By the time he came over to us, his ankle had blown up and you could see the swelling over the boot.

"As soon as he took the boot off, it just ballooned.

"We'll have to see how he recovers overnight.


"I thought he played really well; he was a real loss to us and he had to come off.

"We're in the final straight now and there's going to be some bumps and bruises, for sure but this is not a time for us to feel sorry for ourselves.

"We dust ourselves down and we've got to be ready to go again.

"The squad is getting smaller by the day but we said going into the Grimsby game that we're on the top bend and we're picking up pace.

"Well I think by the time we get to Saturday and seven days to go, we're certainly into the sprint finish and now we just have to keep our head down and keep pushing for the line."