SEAN Brain apologised for leaving Worcester City a man light but insisted his red card tackle against Highgate United had been an accident.

Striker Brain, recruited from Coleshill Town at the back of end of August, was dismissed 41 minutes into his home debut for catching James Wilcock between his ankle and knee after losing possession in United’s box.

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Wilcock hobbled off minutes later but Brain, who had put City on course for the 2-0 victory with a sumptuous solo goal just four minutes earlier, was adamant it had been no moment of madness.

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“No one wants to get sent off and I am not a malicious player, I did not go in to do it on purpose,” said Brain.

“I was dribbling in the box, overran it and put out my leg to block it. I caught him above the ankle and the ref saw it as a red.”

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Asked if he had agreed with the call, Brain replied: “It is hard to say. If that tackle happened to a player on our team we would want their lad sent off and no doubt that was the case.

“Sometimes you see players sent off for those, other times you might see a yellow card for it but you cannot make the referee change his mind. It was his decision and that was that.

“Anywhere around the box you want to get the ball, if there is any chance to be had you want to take it.

“If I had nicked the ball he would have brought me down and we’d have had a penalty.

“I was gutted, I had just scored a pretty decent goal and was buzzing but it all went downhill from there.”

After watching his colleagues battle manfully to keep Highgate at bay and earn a place in the FA Vase first round proper on Saturday, October 12, Brain said sorry in the dressing room and was heartened by the response.

“The lads were great. I apologised but all of them said not to worry and that I could have had a yellow card on another day, none of them were annoyed,” he added.

“They did the job with 10, got us through to the next round and I’d like to say thank you to them.”

On the bright side, Brain has four goals to show for less than two halves of football in blue and white having bagged a hat-trick from the bench in last Sunday’s 4-1 win at Selston.

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It made him the first City player to score a debut treble since Sam Bowen against Rothwell Town in the Southern League back in 1997.

“I could have asked for a better start than that and I am enjoying it, which is what football is all about,” said Brain.

“Luckily this club feels like it is for me. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and the gaffer (Ashley Vincent) seems confident in me too and that makes a big difference.”