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United mull over whether to appeal Labadie’s punishment over biting incident

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 16, 2014

Torquay United's Joss Labadie (right) holds off Mitch Brundle of Cheltenham Town on Saturday. Picture: Dan Mullan/Pinnacle

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TORQUAY UNITED will reveal on Monday whether they are to appeal against midfielder Joss Labadie’s ten-match suspension and £2,000 fine for allegedly biting Chesterfield’s Ollie Banks last month.

Plainmoor officials have studied the Football Association’s deliberations, and its reasons for finding Labadie guilty, and they have until 6pm on Monday to announce their appeal decision. United were dismayed by the misconduct verdict and believe they have grounds for challenging it, on the evidence supplied.

However, they have had some hard thinking to do, after studying the FA’s disciplinary process, and also weighing up the consequences.

An appeal would be held by an independent panel, viewing the evidence for the first time.

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If United do take it further, Labadie would be available until any appeal makes a final decision, which could take up to a month.

They have the immediate commitment of two vital homes games this week – fellow strugglers Bury on Tuesday night and Newport County next Saturday.

Manager Chris Hargreaves gave no fresh clues about the Labadie decision after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town. But he said of United’s league situation: “Nothing changes.

“If the other results had gone against us, it might have been game over, but they didn’t. So we’ve just got to try and beat Bury now.”

Hargreaves was visibly frustrated by the game at Whaddon Road. “In the second half I was very, very annoyed by the performance,” he said.

“This was a team [Cheltenham] that were waiting to be beaten and we haven’t taken that opportunity. First half, very good – I thought we were the better team, and we had a few good chances.

“But you have to score when you’re on top, and we didn’t. Then they’ve let the stranglehold go in the second half.

“I know there’s a slope here, but it seemed like a mountain. We weren’t on the front foot enough, and the players know that. I thought, in the second half, in both boxes we were dominated.

“And I don’t put anything down to bad luck. Luck is a deflection off the floodlight and the ball hitting the referee’s head – luck isn’t being tight enough to the second ball. But it’s still the same scenario, and we move on to Bury at home on Tuesday.”

Cheltenham manager Mark Yates sent out his assistant Neil Howarth for the home interviews, and Howarth said: “We knew we weren’t playing well enough at half-time, but we tried to be positive with the players.

“We told them to work harder and increase the tempo, and they did.

“You do get games like that, and it’s important to pick points up in those situations.

“The pitch is drying out, and we were up against a team that’s fighting for its life.

“We would like to be playing better, but ten-out-of-ten for character and effort. It was difficult, but we got there in the end.”

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