Hull City goalkeeper hit by red card blow for key Doncaster Rovers play-off semi-final

Thimothee Lo-Tutala was sent off by referee Alex Chilowicz at Gillingham -Credit:Alan Walter/REX/Shutterstock
Thimothee Lo-Tutala was sent off by referee Alex Chilowicz at Gillingham -Credit:Alan Walter/REX/Shutterstock

Hull City goalkeeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala will sit out Doncaster Rovers' play-off semi-final first leg at Crewe Alexandra next Monday afternoon after being sent off at Gillingham on Saturday.

The Tigers stopper, who is on loan at Rovers, was sent off just under 10 minutes into the second half at the Priestfield Stadium with Grant McCann's men leading 2-0 and on course for a club-record 11th straight victory, before the Gills rallied with two quick-fire goals to come back and earn a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

It was initially feared the youngster would miss three games, thus ruling him out of a potential Wembley final but being dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity is just one game.

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McCann himself was serving the second of a two-game ban after picking up his sixth booking of the season for his over-exuberant celebration in the 4-2 win over Barrow, which saw his side come from 2-0 down to secure a ninth straight victory.

That draw for Rovers, however, sees them finish the season fifth in League Two which seemed impossible earlier in the year when the South Yorkshire side were battling relegation, languishing in 20th just last month, before going on their memorable run into the top six equalling the club record 10 straight wins.

"I told him you don't need to apologise. These things happen in football. He made a decision to come out and it's just natural as a goalkeeper to put your hands up," McCann told the Doncaster Free Press on the 21-year-old's dismissal.

"I felt we were in control in the first half. The sending-off is a big changer in the game. It was a decision Timmy made and he's put his hands up. But then I thought there was a stonewall penalty we should have had on James Maxwell. Fortunately, it didn't cost us."

On the subject of hauling his side away from danger and into the play-offs with a chance of securing promotion to League One, the former City boss said nothing had been achieved yet.

"I'm really proud of our football club today, everyone associated from the owners to everyone that works around the ground, the fans and most importantly the players," he said. "It's been a great, great day for us to get in there but it's only the first step for us. I've just said that to the boys in the changing room.

"I'm really proud of them. We've been written off many, many times and said we're not good enough. For the last 30 or 31 games I think we've been outstanding really. It's a credit to everyone.

“I wouldn't say it's an achievement yet, because an achievement is getting promoted. We've done well to get to this point, of course, we have. We'll just keep our feet firmly on the ground and prepare for whenever the play-off game is."