DEVANTE COLE was fortunate not to be banished immediately after his reckless challenge on Jeremie Frimpong during Celtic’s 4-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park yesterday.
The Hoops right-back was left writhing in agony on the ground after a wild and wayward high tackle from the Well forward in the 53rd minute.
Remarkably, referee Andrew Dallas, who had an excellent vantage point, saw fit to only flash the yellow card at Cole. Frimpong was eventually substituted 17 minutes later after trying to continue.
Boss Neil Lennon admitted fears the adventurous defender, a great favourite with the champions’ fans, may have suffered ligament damage, as CQN reported earlier today.
Former top referee Dermot Gallagher insisted Cole should have been ordered off for his wild lunge at his opponent.
The ex-whistler, speaking on Sky Sports News, said: “I think both players are extremely lucky.
“I think Cole is lucky he didn’t get a red card because the point of contact is really, really bad.
“And I think Frimpong is lucky he didn’t suffer a serious injury. If his leg is planted, that’s a very dangerous tackle.
“I just think the referee has read it wrong.”
It’s the second time this year the youngster has been on the receiving end of some heavy punishment from a rival. He had to be carried off after a challenge from Kilmarnock’s Alan Power that saw the midfielder go through the full-back during Celtic’s 3-1 win at Rugby Park in February.
On this occasion, there was no way back for Frimpong. After six minutes of treatment, he had to be carried off with his left thigh heavily bandaged and was forced to miss a sequence of games before he could return. Celtic fans are hoping the player will not be sidelined at a crucial stage of the campaign for the Hoops.