PAUL Carden was at a loss to explain referee Daniel Issawi’s decision to send off Rory McKeown during Yellows’ 2-1 win over Shaw Lane tonight.

Left-back McKeown was shown a straight red card for an innocuous-looking challenge on visiting defender Alex Byrne shortly after scoring what turned out to be the hosts’ winning goal to secure their place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-offs.

The Northern Irishman – ever-present in the Yellows defence this season – will now serve a three-game ban, thus ruling him out of their play-off semi-final in two weeks’ time.

Carden was critical of Issawi’s performance in general in a game that also saw Ducks midfielder Kieron Lugsden dismissed for a second bookable offence in the first half.

“I don’t know what the referee sees for Rory’s red card. It was a long way away from me,” he said.

“I actually thought he’d blown for a foul on Rory initially.

“He’s said he’s lunged, but Rory was on the floor.

“It’s not the first time we’ve spoken about him. I thought he’d swallowed his whistle at one point.

“Everything that came out was a peep.

“Their lad’s red card was a second yellow all day long.

“If he’s only booked their lad for the second booking, then I honestly don’t know how he sees Rory’s as a straight red.

“I don’t want to see red cards given out willy nilly, but this referee has a habit of giving cards out.

“We’ve got to focus on the positives and it’s a great three points for us.”

Sean Williams had given Town an early lead from the penalty spot, but Chib Chilaka had equalised for the Yorkshiremen before Lugsden’s red card.

McKeown put the hosts back in front shortly after the interval and they held on for a key victory that gives them a six-point cushion in second place.

“We’re delighted. We’ve beaten a strong side there,” Carden said.

“At times, it’s been tight and niggly but we’ve deserved the three points.

“The first half was everything you’d expect from two teams that were in and around the play-offs for most of the season.

“It was tight, fast and had the odd glimpse of quality.

“Our first goal is a blatant penalty. The linesman is right behind it and their lad has clearly pulled Will back as he’s made a run into the box.

“We were sloppy for their equaliser. We switched off and didn’t do the right things.

“I said at half-time that we have to do the details. We let a man go from a set piece and it’s not good enough.

“You get punished for that in this league because teams work on them. We do too.

“We came out in the second half and for the first 15-20 minutes, we used the extra man well.

“We worked the ball, we were patient on the ball and our second goal is a great goal.

“We’ve opened them up with good interplay and stood a good cross up for Rory to score.”

Town will secure a home play-off match if they beat struggling Halesowen Town at Cantilever Park on Saturday.