Suspended Taggart set to miss rest of season

Gavin Taggart is set for a lengthy suspension after his red card against Cliftonville on Saturday. Picture: Press Eye.
Gavin Taggart is set for a lengthy suspension after his red card against Cliftonville on Saturday. Picture: Press Eye.

Gavin Taggart looks to have played his last game of the season for Ballymena United following his red card against CLiftonville on Saturday.

The midfielder is set for a mammoth NINE-game ban after being dismissed in the first half of the 2-2 draw with the Reds.

Taggart had already been due to start a two-match game this week - for accumulating 10 bookings - which would have ruled him out of tonight’s (Tuesday) game at Glenavon and Saturday’s trip to Dungannon Swifts.

That means his automatic one-match ban for Saturday’s red card will be delayed until the game against Carrick on April 16.

By the start of the following week, his additional games for being given a straight red card will be due to kick in.

And with referee Ross Dunlop indicating that Saturday’s dismissal was for a head-butting offence, which carries a mandatory punishment of a further six games, Taggart’s ban is likely to carry over into next season - even if United qualify for the Europa League play-offs by finishing seventh in the league.

United boss David Jeffrey said of the incident: “We were disappointed with the sending off. I didn’t see exactly what happened, I had no view of it.

“However, I spoke to (referee) Ross (Dunlop) and he said heads came together.

“Speaking to Gavin, he said he could have reacted in exactly the same way as James Knowles but ultimately, you don’t put the referee in that situation.

“I’m not in any way going to blame the referee or say he was wrong in any shape or form. There mightn’t have been a lot of contact but he has got to give what he sees,” the United boss added.