CLARETS midfielder Brian Stock was left scratching his head over the booking which left him on a knife-edge at Barnsley.
Stock was sent off just before half-time in Burnley’s FA Cup exit at Oakwell on Saturday, having picked up a second yellow card.
But it was the first which mystified him, having been the victim, not the perpetrator, having been pushed in the head by Marlon Harewood.
The former Bournemouth man said: “Obviously the sending off has a big impact in the game.
“The first yellow card I think the referee’s booked me by mistake. Fair play to players like Marlon Harewood who was trying to tell the referee he was booking the wrong person.
“I don’t know what the referee was seeing. It wasn’t just me, it was our players and even their players were saying as well that he shouldn’t be booking me.
“Fair play to them. Usually you get players nowadays who want the opposition booked but they were shouting at the ref not to book me.
“The referee didn’t give me a reason as to what he booked me for, he just said ‘I’ve seen it’ and he said it numerous times. He never actually said I’d done anything, which was a bit confusing.
“We’ve seen it back on the replay – I got pushed in the back and then hit in the back of the head. It was a double whammy really, and to my surprise I got booked for it.”
But, having been, however harshly, on a booking, Stock admits a player with his experience shouldn’t have put himself in a position where he could receive another: “I’d made a foul about two minutes before and whether that was in the back of his mind I don’t know, but I don’t know what he’s seen for the first yellow card, I really don’t.
“I can’t really complain about the second yellow card.
“They’re two really soft yellow cards. I’m gutted to be sent off and out of the cup as well.
“Maybe I should have probably done better in not getting booked for the second one. It’s not often I get sent off and I’ve never been sent off for two yellow cards so cheaply.
“You’re thinking ‘I’m treading a tightrope here’ but maybe he could have let that one go because of how harsh the first one was. But I’ve not really got too many complaints about the second one. As soon as it happened I thought to myself ‘this could be it’.
“I knew I was booked and that’s why I’m probably a bit disappointed in myself with my experience over the years. I haven’t been sent off for almost eight years. I’ve been booked loads of times but managed to see games through using my head really. So it’s disappointing on my part to get booked a second time so quickly.”
Burnley looked like taking Barnsley back to Turf Moor for a replay, but Danny Rose’s late strike was a cruel blow: “The lads did tremendously, especially in the second half to hold out the game.
“It didn’t look like either side were going to score, it looked like going to a replay.
“We went down to 10 men against Charlton for the majority of the game and we reacted really well there and were unlucky not to get a result, and I think the same here.
“All credit to the lads that dug in, it was probably a soft goal to concede on our part and it was a bit of luck for them.
“Those goals sometimes happen and unfortunately we’re out of the cup.”