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West Ham striker has red-card overturned

15:41 27 December 2012

West Ham United

West Ham United's Carlton Cole (right, number 9) reacts as he is shown the red card by referee Anthony Taylor (left)

EMPICS Sport

Hammers front man Carlton Cole will be free to play against Reading on Saturday after his sending off was rescinded by an FA Disciplinary panel

West Ham striker Carlton Cole will take his place in the Hammers line-up for Saturday’s clash with Reading at the Madejski Stadium after his red card against Everton last week was overturned.

Both Cole and Everton’s Darron Gibson were sent off for high challenges during the 2-1 defeat for the Hammers, but after an appeal this afternoon, the FA Disciplinary Panel overturned both decisions.

Referee Anthony Taylor wielded his red card after 67 minutes of the clash at Upton Park, following Cole’s challenge on Leighton Baines, before appearing to even things up in the 90th minute when Gibson was sent off for a similar challenge on West Ham’s Mark Noble.

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce blamed the referee for the defeat against Everton and after the FA’s decision, he was satisfied with the outcome.

“I am delighted that we have probably got a bit of justice as it deserved to be turned around. There was never any doubt in my mind. While you can say the foot was high, it was a genuine attempt and Carlton kept his eye on the ball. It’s a really good outcome for us,” said the manager.

“The way he is playing at the moment, he would have been a massive loss for us. He’s been outstanding up front for us since Andy Carroll got injured and we didn’t want to miss a player of so much importance for these three very important games - Reading away, Norwich City at home and a big FA Cup third-round tie with Manchester United.

An FA statement confirmed: “The FA can confirm that red cards shown to both Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson have been rescinded. Both players were sent from the field of play in the Premier League fixture between West Ham United and Everton at Upton Park on Saturday 22 December. Their three match suspensions have been withdrawn immediately and written reasons will be provided at a later date.”

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