YORK City are waiting to hear whether mistaken identity victim Richard Brodie will be spared suspension for tomorrow’s trip to Luton Town.

Referee Mark Brown and his assessor were both sent away with copies of the match DVD from Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Blue Square Premier leaders Oxford United.

City boss Martin Foyle is hoping the footage will clear Brodie of throwing the ball away following Michael Rankine’s opening goal for the Minstermen by identifying winger Adam Smith as the real culprit.

Brodie, not Smith, was booked for the offence which, if upheld, will mean City’s leading scorer is ruled out of the Kenilworth Road clash after accumulating five yellow cards.

Brown made the decision on the advice of Saturday’s fourth official and Foyle was left lamenting his intervention from the touchline.

He said: “It’s a sad state of affairs and scary when the fourth official is signalling to the referee to book a player for throwing the ball away and then gets the wrong man.

“It was Adam Smith and we have asked the referee to rescind it but, if it has to stand, we will go to Luton without Brodes (Richard Brodie) and make changes.”

Under UEFA rules, yellow cards can be rescinded if mistaken identity is proven.

A recent precedent came during the European Under-21 Championships when Sweden’s Rasmus Elm was absolved of dissent.

In the Premier League four years ago, Scott Parker’s caution was also later passed on to Newcastle team-mate Stephen Carr when he was wrongly penalised for a foul against Sunderland.

Brodie’s fate, though, will depend on whether the camera footage is conclusive.

The Minstermen will not be appealing against James Meredith’s 83rd-minute red card against Oxford, which means he will miss the Luton match although Foyle felt his dismissal for two bookable offences was harsh.

“The game has changed so much in the last 15 years and I wouldn’t say for the better,” he said.

“It seems you can’t make a tackle these days, which spoils games as spectacles. Supporters are paying good money to see sides playing with nine or ten men every week.”

Despite his players falling foul of the officials, though, the City chief was full of praise for the way his team tackled the league leaders, only missing out on maximum points when Simon Clist scored with the visitors’ first – and only – on-target attempt of the afternoon.

He said: “I’m very disappointed not to win, but it was a fantastic spectacle for Conference football. We played some absolutely super stuff at the right times. They only had one shot, which you have to give credit to our defence for. They have worried me recently, but I stuck by them despite looking at a few other things in training.

“They gave a good reaction to that, but I don’t just want that for the big games. We need the same for the FA Cup match against Bedworth, because that game won’t just be a case of rolling them over.”

Foyle reserved his biggest acclaim for Rankine, who scored his first goal from open play for the club to cap a man-of-the-match display.

The City boss enthused: “I thought Michael Rankine was fantastic. He was unplayable, and that’s what he can be like.

“We have got his weight down and he’s worked hard at his game. All strikers live off scoring goals and he’s had to be patient with Michael Gash and Richard Brodie doing so well, but he looked like a Football League player out there.”

More than 3,500 City fans were among Saturday’s 4,302 crowd, representing an increase of 1,000 in the home sections from the previous Bootham Crescent match against Stevenage.

A delighted Foyle added: “A crowd of 4,300 is brilliant and the waving flags looked great again. We are unbeaten in the league at home and there’s a bit of optimism now. Hopefully, the fans will come back after that performance because, if we keep getting 3,500 supporters, it will make a big difference to the playing budget.”

Match report: York City 1, Oxford United 1>>

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