John-Joe O’Toole facing fine after dismissal

John-Joe O'Toole is sent off at Mansfield (pictures: Sharon Lucey)
John-Joe O'Toole is sent off at Mansfield (pictures: Sharon Lucey)
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Alan Knill says the Cobblers will fine John-Joe O’Toole two weeks’ wages - if video evidence and the referee’s report confirm he hit Mansfield defender Ritchie Sutton.

O’Toole was sent off by referee Lee Collins in the 32nd minute of the game at Field Mill, where Marc Richards’ 17th goal of the season salvaged a 1-1 draw in stoppage time.

Mansfield Town V Cobblers. NNL-150214-174127009

Mansfield Town V Cobblers. NNL-150214-174127009

It was a disastrous end to a day which had seen supporters wear wigs and headbands in tribute to the midfielder’s recent good form.

O’Toole will now face a three-game ban for violent conduct and could also be hit in the pocket with a club fine.

“I’m going to give it the Arsene Wenger and say I didn’t see the incident but John-Joe said the lad had him in a headlock and he’s just reacted,” said assistant manager Knill.

“Until we see the referee’s report and the video, we’re not sure what we’re going to do about it.

“If he’s been sent off for what the referee says he’s done, it’s a two-week fine for us.

“I’m not sure if the occasion got to him. I thought it was a great occasion for him and great for the supporters to do that for him but it’s sad the way it’s ended.

“These things happen in football and you have to roll your sleeves up and get on with it, which we did.”

As disappointed as Knill was with O’Toole, though, he was delighted with the way the Cobblers fought right to the end for a precious point.

Mansfield took the lead early in the second half through Vadaine Oliver but Richards was the man on the spot to secure a draw, putting aside his penalty miss a week ago to notch a 17th of the season at a ground he last visited with the Cobblers in a play-off semi-final in 2004.

“We’re obviously delighted to get the ball in the end but we’re disappointed not to get all three points,” said Knill.

“I thought we were excellent with 10 men and the ball was only ever in their half, so we’re delighted to get a point but we could have won.

“We spoke to Ivan about the way he played at Hartlepool - he didn’t make an impact in that game but we were much happier with him here.

“He was lively, held the ball up well and he won us the penalty. Rico was never going to be worried about missing a penalty and he just got his head down and smashed it.”