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Ben Garner defends Ryan Inniss following centre-back’s red card against Forest Green Rovers

Charlton manager Ben Garner felt Ryan Inniss was hard done by after being sent off against Forest Green Rovers.

The Addicks defender was shown a second yellow card for an aerial challenge as the home side pushed in vain for a winning goal in added-time.

The dismissal was the third he’s received since the 6ft 5 centre-half joined the club from Crystal Palace in summer 2020. He picked up his first yellow card for a challenge inside the Charlton half on the hour-mark – a passage of play that also Sean Clare carded as Rovers looked to counter.

Garner said: “I’ve looked at it. I spoke to the referee and he said it was a yellow for leading with the arm. He hasn’t led with the arm. The arm is in the player’s back. He’s aggressive with the challenge but he’s booked for leading with the arm which he hasn’t done. You can’t appeal a second yellow anyway. There’s nothing we can do so we have to move on.

“He’s aggressive. He’s trying to score the goal and he’s gone in. There’s no arm involved. It’s head on head. With Ryan’s size, sometimes it goes against him. I don’t think it warranted a second yellow card.”

Wollacott apologises to fans for his error that led to the equaliser. Kyle Andrews

The hosts led inside ten minutes thanks to Corey Blackett-Taylor’s second goal of the campaign. But they were pegged back just before half-time as Joe Wollacott spilled a cross into the path of former Palace striker Conor Wickham’s path – the forward finishing into an empty net.

“He’s made a mistake which is rare for him but we had a number of mistakes in the five-six minute period before that,” said Garner of the man he gave the number one shirt at The Valley after poaching him from his former side Swindon.

“We got a little bit loose and it’s my responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen. We have to have a stronger mentality, higher levels of concentration and focus and a more ruthless nature to our play.

“The one tonight, he might collide with Eoghan. But he comes for it, he’s positive, which I want my goalkeeper to be. Perhaps should have punched it given the conditions tonight with the rain but we don’t single out individuals.

“It’s a collective responsibility. As a group we didn’t do well enough in that period at the end of the first-half. That responsibility starts with me.”

PHOTO: KYLE ANDREWS

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