Chairman Steff Wright has spoken out in defence of manager Chris Sutton as The Imps await the FA verdict on his punishment following Saturday’s dismissal.
The Imps shared a point with Cheltenham, but the game was overshadowed by a 69th red card for Imps left back Aaron Brown which led to a 35 man brawl at the side of the pitch.
Chris Sutton felt that Cheltenham keeper Scott Brown was acting incorrectly when he ran 80 yards to remonstrate with referee Graham Salisbury immediately before Brown was dismissed.
Indeed Barry Richardson and John Schofield also appeared to be trying to influence the fourth official at pitchside. This led to an angry altercation in which Richardson and Pearce were both sent off for their part in the fracas, and Sutton was sent to the stands to watch the remainder of the game.
However inconsistency reigned supreme when shortly before the end of the game Julian Allsopp stamped on loanee Nathan baker, and received a yellow card for his troubles. As Allsopp left the pitch further words were exchanged between him and Sutton, with Allsopp led away for the tunnel area by stewards.
However Steff Wright has told local media he is 100% behind Sutton: "I am 100 per cent behind the manager. Aaron Brown's sending-off, from where we were sat, seemed to be harsh and also influenced by the Cheltenham players,"
"Perhaps the influence also came from the (Cheltenham) bench. The referee will look back and think he could have handled (the situation) a bit better. There is never any excuse for things flying out of control but what we have is a very passionate and determined management team”
Sutton was his usual coy self in the post match interview, concluding that: "Aaron was unlucky because I thought he slipped, although I will have to look at it again. Now, in the end, he's been sent off but that is not the issue here.”
"The issue I have is why the goalkeeper has run 70 yards to get him sent off and why their staff also seemed to have a big influence because I don't think Aaron would have been dismissed."
However the ultimate price will be that both Ian Pearce and Aaron Brown were given three game suspensions, meaning they'll miss Grimsby at home, Rotherham away and perhaps most importantly Northwich in the FA Cup in a fortnights time.