VALENTINE Phoenix's horror start to the Northern NSW NPL season has hit another obstacle after captain Joel Wood was outed for seven-games on Wednesday for offensive language and throwing the ball at a match official.
Wood was given a straight red card late in Valentine's 4-0 loss to Maitland at Cooks Square Park on Sunday after an exchange with a linesman.
In the 81st minute, the striker was on the attack near the right touchline and thought he had been fouled by Maitland defender Zach Thompson.
He picked the ball up anticipating a free kick but the referee instead pinned him for handball. As he walked away, Wood did an Australian Rules-style handpass which struck the official.
The veteran was found guilty of unwarranted conduct / contact with a match official plus repeated use of offensive language.
His suspension equates to almost half a season and leaves the winless Phoenix without their skipper and premier striker.
In other judiciary matters, Lake Macquarie midfielder Nick Cowburn and Charlestown's Zach Lloyd each received two weeks for violent conduct. Cowburn was given a red card for shouldering a player. Lloyd was ruled to be the third man in during the ensuing melee.
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