A Birmingham City defender was given his marching orders under extremely dubious circumstances…
Tall defender Kyle Bartley, 22, formerly of Arsenal and Birmingham City on loan, was given an extraordinary second yellow card and consequential early bath as he celebrated securing his first ever professional brace as Birmingham defeated Huddersfield Town by a 3-1 scoreline for a much-needed three points in their stuttering Championship campaign.
The defender, who spent a half decade at Arsenal either in the youth team or senior squad (albeit never in a Premier League XI), calmly stepped over the advertising boards, fist-bumped the air in front of the club's supporters, before returning to the pitch, only to be given a red card by the match-day official Gavin Ward, of Surrey.
Both Bartley's goals arrived in the second-half, putting City comfortably in front. He converted a Jesse Lingard corner with his head on the 65th minute, before once again linking up with Lingard to head in his second, and Birmingham's third, a quarter of an hour later.
'It was fantastic for us to get three points, we needed it,' Bartley told Blues TV: 'It was a fantastic performance. In the dressing room there's a lot of team spirit, a lot of togetherness and I think we showed that.'
Explaining his dismissal, he said: 'I've scored to make it 3-1, the lads came over to celebrate with me. I took one step over the boards, one step back. The referee sent me off, you'll have to speak to the ref about it.'
Bartley is on loan from Swansea City.
Did the former Gunner deserve the red card? Let us know in the comment section below…
image: © michael hilton