Nick Ward (left) playing for the Wellington Phoenix.
Nick Ward (left) playing for the Wellington Phoenix. Getty Images Sport - Hagen Hopkins

Ward cleared of red card

WELLINGTON Phoenix midfielder Nicky Ward has been cleared to play against Perth on Sunday.

Ward was shown a red card by referee Matt Gillett in the closing stages of the Phoenix 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets in Wellington on Sunday, ruling that the player had fouled a Jets' attacker to prevent a clear scoring opportunity.

The Phoenix appealed, believing the referee had made an error in that there were other defenders between the Jets' player and the goal.

The A-League match review panel met in Sydney yesterday and upheld the club's appeal; the red card was rescinded, leaving Ward free to play against Perth.

Ward's let-off is a major boost for the Phoenix who will be without Tim Brown, who also saw red against Newcastle, and Paul Ifill, who suffered a recurrence of his groin injury.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert said he was pleased for the player, and the club said they would make no further comment on the matter.


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