BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Lee Bowyer has admitted he was pleased to see Charlton players running to defend Tariqe Fosu after a late brawl in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Southend United.
Michael Kightly and Mark Oxley were sent off for the home side after the 87th-minute ruck with Tariqe Fosu also dismissed for a headbutt – the winger losing his temper after being kicked while on the floor as he ran the clock down protecting the ball near the corner flag.
Shrimpers goalkeeper Oxley got his marching orders for punching George Lapslie.
“I don’t want to see anything nasty but if one of my players is getting trodden on and booted then of course you want the others to go and help him,” said Bowyer.
“For their goalkeeper to run 30 yards and chin one of my players, that’s all wrong.
“Pearcey [Jason Pearce] went over there to look after the younger lads, we had a lot of young lads out there. As long as you do it the right way, that is the most important thing.
“You can’t leave someone in the middle of a brawl where there are seven of their players and one of ours.”
Fosu is not able to play in tonight’s EFL Trophy game against AFC Wimbledon, even though it does not count as part of his three-match suspension.
He has to serve the ban in full before being eligible for the EFL Trophy.
Asked if a flair player like Fosu gets enough protection from officials, Bowyer replied: “No, he doesn’t. It’s not just Tariqe, it’s a lot of our players.
“Lyle Taylor gets pulled from pillar to post by defenders and doesn’t get protected. And whenever Karlan [Grant] goes past someone they just foul him.
“There are a few who are unfortunately getting treatment like that. It is something I can’t control – it is something you just hope referees start recognising and they give them a bit of protection.”