Ward cleared of red card
WELLINGTON Phoenix midfielder Nicky Ward has been cleared to play against Perth on Sunday.
Ward was shown a red card by referee Matt Gillett in the closing stages of the Phoenix 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets in Wellington on Sunday, ruling that the player had fouled a Jets' attacker to prevent a clear scoring opportunity.
The Phoenix appealed, believing the referee had made an error in that there were other defenders between the Jets' player and the goal.
The A-League match review panel met in Sydney yesterday and upheld the club's appeal; the red card was rescinded, leaving Ward free to play against Perth.
Ward's let-off is a major boost for the Phoenix who will be without Tim Brown, who also saw red against Newcastle, and Paul Ifill, who suffered a recurrence of his groin injury.
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert said he was pleased for the player, and the club said they would make no further comment on the matter.