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28th Jan 2017

Richie Towell scores FA Cup cracker and is booked for a truly stupid reason

Modern football crime

Patrick McCarry

You can bet your arse he was “excessive”.

Richie Towell arrived at Brighton this time last year and the world was at his feet.

He had enjoyed the season of his young professional career with Dundalk and left Ireland for a second chance at that big footballing break. Having been at Celtic previously, Toell knew all about the heartache of trying, trying again and falling short.

This time would be different, he told himself. Irish supporters thought likewise and there was genuine talk about a good run in the Championship propelling him into the Irish squad ahead of Euro 2016.

He just couldn’t get a break, though. He struggled to break into the first squad, pick up a couple of injuries and his confidence took a hit.

Brighton missed out on promotion and the entire club mourned before setting their sights on an even better 2016/17. So did Towell but injury struck again. He only recently got back to full fitness but game-time has been scarce.

This afternoon is only his third senior appearance of the season but Towell cracked home a superb goal midway through the first half of his side’s FA Cup clash with Lincoln.

Towell was a man possessed as he wheeled away. Joy has been a long time coming but he is back making a big difference again.

Over he ran to the ecstatic Brighton supporters and he took their acclaim from atop an advertising hoarding.

Unfortunately for the Dubliner, he was then booked for that modern football crime of ‘excessive celebration’. It was very, very harsh.

If only referee Andy Madley knew just what that crisp strike meant to him…