Sep 1 2011 By Colin Paterson
ALBION ROVERS have won their appeal against the red card received by Chris Fahey following an SFA review panel hearing.
The Cliftonhill goalie was sent-off, for the second time this season, by referee Brian Colvin in Saturday's 2-1 league defeat to Brechin City at Cliftonhill.
Fahey collided with Brechin striker Paul McManus after pushing the ball away with his hands during an attack by the visitors.
But Colvin awarded a penalty after he decided the keeper had denied the forward a "clear goalscoring opportunity".
Fahey was then issued with his marching orders once Colvin had consulted with his far-side linesman.
Rovers appealed the game-changing decision on Tuesday and were vindicated 48 hours later when a three-man review panel ruled that Fahey was wronged.
The red card was reduced to nothing by SPL secretary Ian Blair, sports commentator Alistair Murning and Ray Morrison of the Lanarkshire Referees' Association who sat on the panel and studied DVD evidence after reading Colvin's version of events.
The Coatbridge outfit will also have their £500 appeal fee refunded in full.
Rovers chairman Frank Meade said: "I'm delighted. We have been vindciated and I would like to thank the judicial panel for giving us a fair hearing.
"Appealing decisions is not something we, as a club, take lightly, so we are very pleased with this outcome.
"Hopefully other clubs will feel encouraged to appeal if they feel they have been the victims of an injustice.
"I'm also delighted for our manager, Paul Martin, and for Chris. These types of decisions can erode a player's confidence but I'm glad he's been cleared."
Despite the verdict, the SFA may still investigate comments made by Meade and captain Ciaran Donnelly after the full-time whistle while also probing claims that Colvin branded Rovers a "joke" club.
Meade says he will now have talks with referees' boss John Fleming as Rovers look to move on from a controversial start to the season.
He added: "I had a very constructive conversation with John on Monday morning and we will be arranging a meeting in the next week. John is committed to improving standards at every level and he has our full support."