LEE PELTIER could be starting a four-match ban when Town bid to extend their unbeaten League I run to 14 matches with a win against Rochdale at the Galpharm tomorrow.
That’s the fear of manager Clark, who confirmed the 24-year-old right-back will also be disciplined by the club following his red card for violent conduct in the 1-1 draw at Yeovil.
His dismissal left Town to play with 10 men for 77 minutes at Huish Park; his teammates responding in great style to equalise through Antony Kay’s fourth goal of the season after Andrew Williams had given the home side a first-half lead.
Clark had no argument with the sending off, agreeing Kent referee Phil Crossley had been spot on, but because it’s Peltier’s second red of the season (after Everton in the Carling Cup) he’s likely to get an extra match added to the statutory three, ruling him out against Rochdale, Bristol Rovers, Brentford and the home game with Swindon on March 19.
“I don’t know what happened, but Lee threw his arm back and hit the lad in the face (Dean Bowditch) and, with it happening against his old club where he had so many happy times, Lee was distraught,” said boss Clark, who is checking on the fitness of Joey Gudjonsson and Lee Novak (both hamstring) and Danny Cadamarteri (back).
“He apologised to the lads in the dressing room but we will discipline him because you can’t do that sort of thing and Lee knows it. We want controlled aggression, because it’s hard enough when it’s 11 v 11 without going down a man, but the other lads responded superbly and not only did themselves proud, but the club proud.
“Lee is going to miss a lot of games now and that’s a blow because he is a big, big player for us and this is an important time.”
Town face a Rochdale side who beat them 3-0 at Spotland in September and who are 13th in the table, but fresh from a 4-1 home reversal by MK Dons.
“It will be tough against Rochdale because they are having a fantastic season, so we have got to be right at it,” said Clark.
“I was really pleased with the way we played on Saturday, though, in the circumstances because we needed big hearts and big characters and we got all of that.
“When you look back, I don’t think Ian Bennett had many saves to make, in the second half we only let Yeovil have the ball in areas where they weren’t going to hurt us and I thought the team were immense, so we have to carry that forward into tomorrow night.”