ROTHERHAM United are to contest the red card shown to Matt Crooks in the defeat tonight that damaged their hopes of staying in the Championship.
The midfielder was dismissed in the 19th minute at AESSEAL New York Stadium after a head clash with Middlesbrough's Grant Hall and faces a three-match ban for violent conduct.
Crooks was clearly looking at the ball when contact was made. His third-bottom team were leading at the time but went on to lose 2-1 and are four points from safety with two matches in hand and five games left to play.
"We're definitely appealing it," said manager Paul Warne. "I think we were on the wrong end of a bad decision.
“It was two different games. It was the first 20 minutes when it was even and then it was the other 70-plus with ten men. It could have ramifications beyond this match."
The referee was Darren Bond, the official who sent off Michael Smith in the derby at Sheffield Wednesday in March only for that decision to be rescinded.
The following week he dismissed Barnsley's Alex Mowatt at Wycombe Wanderers and that red card was also reversed.
"Warne added: "Crooksy has never been sent off for me before. He's not a dirty player. I want him to attack that ball because that's the way we play. It's a contact sport.
"He's not maliciously gone to hurt the lad. After the game, he looked heartbroken. It wasn't the face of a warrior who's gone round trying to 'hench' people.
"I've seen it back once in slow motion and it looked ridiculously harsh. Their bench has gone up in a furore and the ref has pulled out a red card. The game takes a completely different turn after that."
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock, who famously kept Rotherham in the second tier in 2016, said: "I am happy we have got the points, but disappointed it is against Rotherham, if I am honest, as I want to see them stay up.
"I said to the lads that I want us to try twice as hard on Saturday against (another drop-zone side) Sheffield Wednesday."