Bexhill player banned for 142 days
BEXHILL United have been rocked by one of their key players being banned until late September.
Striker Dave Carey has been suspended for a total of 142 days following sendings-off in successive matches last month.
Manager Bill Trivett, who insists the club will appeal against the decision, said: "I've never seen anything like it. I was expecting 35 days for both and I had a feeling they might top it up a bit, but I just couldn't believe it really when it came through."
Carey received 30 days for elbowing Shaun Hardy in a Sussex Reserve Section East fixture against Westfield on December 16.
And he also got landed with a further 112 days for an alleged head-butt on Matt Michaels in the Sussex Division Three game with Uckfield Town two weeks later.
Of the latter dismissal, Trivett commented: "We had no problem with him being sent-off. He made a motion to head-butt the player, but didn't actually head-butt him."
The ban, imposed by the Sussex County FA, comes into effect from Monday and will temporarily come to a halt on May 5 after the scheduled end to the season.
But it will resume upon the start of the 2007-08 campaign in August and finally run its course on September 23.
Carey scored in each of Bexhill's last two outings, both of which ended in victories, and seemed to be forming a promising partnership with new signing Richard Piper.
His goals were also central to United gaining promotion from Division Three two seasons ago, but he left The Polegrove after Bexhill endured a poor start to last term and went on to enjoy a successful Division One campaign at neighbours Sidley United.
Carey returned to Bexhill in the summer after talks with ambitious former manager Dave Shearing, who resigned just five games into the season.
In the likes of Piper, John Winfield and David Pugh, Trivett feels he has sufficient cover for Carey and has no immediate plans to look outside the club for a replacement.
Carey's last game before his extended spell on the sidelines will come at home to Hurstpierpoint on Saturday January 13.
Ninth-placed Point are still to win away and haven't triumphed in any of their last six matches since cruising past second-bottom United 4-1 on November 4.
Trivett will select from a fully fit squad as his men seek to make it three successive victories for the first time in nearly two years. Kick-off is at 2.15pm.