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Dundalk head coach Stephen O’Donnell has confirmed that the club will appeal against Robbie Benson’s dismissal in the 4-0 defeat against Shamrock Rovers on Friday night.

The Lilywhites midfielder was sent off for the first time in his career when referee Arnold Hunter deemed his tackle on Lee Grace to be worthy of a red card and O’Donnell said the decision shaped the outcome of the game.

“I don’t see how you can get involved and make such a decision,” he said. “Anytime you go down to 10 men so early it changes the game. I don’t even think Rovers players were looking for a red, I don’t think it entered anyone’s head.

“It’s just wanting to get involved and knowing you’re making a match-defining decision so early in the game when there is zero need.

“If the referee feels it’s a high leg and it’s a yellow card, nobody would have batted an eyelid. The actual footage shows Robbie toes the ball first and then there’s a coming together with Lee Grace.

“I don’t think the officials need to get involved. Don’t be eager to make a decision that’s going to determine the game, there’s no need.

“If it’s not serious foul play – a tackle over the top, over the ball or a last man – then there’s no need to make the decision.”