YORK City believe there is little point in contesting future red card decisions after losing their third appeal in seven months.

Striker Vadaine Oliver will begin a three-match ban during Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash at Notts County after his 51st-minute dismissal last weekend against Carlisle was upheld following a disciplinary hearing.

The verdict follows other futile attempts by the club to exonerate Jake Hyde and Dave Winfield – a process that has now cost a four-figure sum - despite having been encouraged to challenge each sending off by a leading refereeing official.

Referee Nick Kinseley claimed Oliver punched Carlisle defender Dan Grainger prior to receiving his marching orders but video evidence did not support that allegation and a despairing Wilcox said: “I have consulted David Allison – the national head of the assessors and referees – before all three appeals and he has agreed we have had strong cases, so it’s frustrating that they’ve all been unsuccessful.

“We had the chance to look at Vadaine’s sending off from a different angle after the game and sent that footage to the FA after everybody had looked at it and decided it was unfair. Even the chairman (Jason McGill) had a look because the club has to spend money to appeal and he felt there was nothing there.

“You don’t get an explanation why it hasn’t been overturned and the referee’s report contained just one line – ‘the number nine punched an opponent’ – which is disappointing but you just have to swallow it and carry on without the player for three games. I have spoken to the chairman and we have decided that it isn’t really worth appealing in the future unless it’s a case of mistaken identity or something really clear.

“It costs £350 each time you appeal at League Two level, so that means we have spent more than £1,000 that could have been used on something else.”

Wilcox has also accused the FA of treating Premier League clubs differently to teams lower down the football pyramid.

He felt Arsenal had a weaker justification for Gabriel Paulista’s red card on Saturday being successfully rescinded and also reasoned that Carlisle instigator Grainger should have been subject to the same retrospective punishment that saw Chelsea’s Diego Costa pick up a three-game suspension for his misdemeanours against the Gunners.

The City boss added: “Gabriel got off his red card even though he blatantly kicked Costa, who has got a three-match ban instead for slapping. That’s fair enough but Carlisle’s defender Grainger got nothing for deliberately stamping on Vadaine’s toe and, without him doing that, there wouldn’t have been any incident.

“Grainger was free to play against Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night and that’s wrong. It seems that sometimes the rules are applied to the big boys but not the little clubs.”

Wilcox also revealed that he had gained further support from Allison concerning other occasions when he felt his side fell victim to poor decisions this term, explaining: “I showed David Allison the blatant shove on Marvin McCoy before Stevenage’s goal and the block on James Berrett when Mansfield got their equaliser at our place.

“He agreed both were fouls and those simple decisions have cost us three points, which would mean we would just be outside the play-off positions now.”

With Josh Carson and Emile Sinclair in contention for recalls, Wilcox is confident, though, that the Minstermen can cope with Oliver’s absence at Meadow Lane, suggesting: “We have quality to replace quality.” But he went on to admit that Notts County, who he watched beat Crawley 4-1 on Tuesday night, could present his team with their sternest test yet.

“They have won their last three games at home and scored ten goals,” he pointed out. “They were outstanding against Crawley and probably the best team I have seen this season.

“They have spent a lot of money, including a sizeable fee on Izale McLeod and they’ve got players with the quality of Alan Smith in midfield and Roy Carroll in goal, so they are very strong through the spine of the team. Having said that, Crawley scored in the first 15 minutes and could have been 2-0 up so we know that, while Notts County are exciting with the ball, there are little things that we can exploit defensively.”

Wilcox will need to decide, meanwhile, whether to employ the same 4-3-3 system that he started with against Carlisle or revert to the wing-back formation he has fielded for most of the season.

“When we’ve played 3-5-2, it has served us well away from home and we’ve looked solid and compact, as well as good on the counter attack,” he argued.

Jake Hyde remains sidelined following his hernia operation, whereas George Swan is back in training after thigh and calf problems and, could feature in next Wednesday’s reserve game against Hartlepool, along with the returning Michael Coulson.