FRENCH defender Julian Cherel will sit out three matches through suspension as punishment for his dismissal in Northwich Victoria’s defeat at Frickley Athletic on Saturday.

The ex-Hartlepool United stopper, making only his third start for the club, was sent off during the second half of Vics’ 2-1 defeat for threatening to headbutt the hosts’ Ashley Longstaff.

“I’ve got no complaints about it [the sending off] except to ask why their player – who provoked what happened – escaped any punishment,” said Vics boss Andy Preece afterwards.

“It wasn’t a butt, but he moved his head towards their player’s face and that’s made it an easy decision for the referee.”

Cherel’s ban starts on Saturday week when Preece’s men are due at Evo-Stik League Premier Division rivals Whitby Town in the FA Trophy’s third qualifying round.

He is the second Northwich player to be shown a red card this season following Kwame Barnett’s early exit in his team’s surprise FA Cup replay reverse against Sheffield FC in September.