Connolly rues the red card antics which cost him his scoring spot

David Connolly's name should be adorning the top of the League Two scoring charts with at least six goals alongside his entry.

David Connolly is sent off against Chesterfield. Picture: Joe Pepler
David Connolly is sent off against Chesterfield. Picture: Joe Pepler

Instead, suspension, followed by injury, have conspired to restrict him to just four appearances since the end of August.

For the veteran striker, the anger still remains over the Chesterfield sending off which put his season into reverse.

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By his own admission, he cost his team victory with his off-the-ball clash with Sam Hird, having moments earlier failed to be awarded a blatant first-half penalty – and he apologises.

But Connolly still stews over the behaviour of the Spireites defender.

The Pompey player/coach’s punishment has been more prolonged than the subsequent three-match suspension following that red card.

Still, Stevenage marked his goal-scoring return on Saturday, and he’s in the frame to start at Newport County tonight in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

And Connolly continues to strive to get back his place and league goal-scoring mantle he relinquished.

He said: ‘He (Hird) rolled around, it was embarrassing.

‘I can’t laugh and joke about it because I cost my team and was then out of the side.

‘I should be top scorer in this league and we should have so many more points – if we had carried on with XI men we would have won that game (Chesterfield).

‘I am very disappointed in a fellow professional because I haven’t done him, I haven’t hit him, I haven’t kicked him.

‘I’ve given a shoulder barge which is the weakest sending-off ever.

‘But I apologise for that because it cost us the game. I believe we would have won that game.

‘The week before we were playing Mansfield, I was captain and was barged about four times. The lad tried to “do” me for want of a better word,

‘I didn’t go down, I barged him back, he ended up on the ground and at the end we shook hands. That’s it.

‘The referee, afterwards, commended me to the manager for talking to the players, doing a good job, and blah, blah, blah.

‘The next match I go and barge one of their players, he falls down like I have hit him in the face and rolls around. It’s disgusting. I couldn’t believe it and they were all going bananas on the sidelines.

‘For what? I barged him with a shoulder and, actually, in the referee’s report, all it said was “a shoulder barge”.

‘I know when someone asks me about that person I will give my honest opinion.

‘The way you do anything is the way you do everything, and if he is like that, I would say he would cheat upon you as a manager if he was one of your players.

‘All’s fair in love and war but I wouldn’t go and deliberately punch or hit someone, it was just a manly shoulder barge.’

Dagenham & Redbridge’s Rhys Murphy is currently the division’s top scorer with eight. Meanwhile, Chesterfield are currently third in the table – six points ahead of the Blues.

Connolly added: ‘When we did the teamsheets for that game, as captain I went in with our manager, who was in a suit. Their assistant manager is eating biscuits and wiping his face!

‘I am so glad our manager has the class in the way he conducts himself.’