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Moore comes to Lawrence's aid


5 Mar 1996

RANGERS defender Craig Moore made history yesterday by becoming the first victim of an on-field offence to give evidence to the SFA disciplinary committee.

His version of the incident, when he was allegedly struck by an elbow in a clash with Alan Lawrence, proved a success for the Hearts striker who had his sentence reduced as a result of the Ibrox man's intervention.

It is the first time that the committee has allowed evidence of this type and was forced upon them after the Hearts man, backed by the Scottish Professional Footballers' Association, had his appeal upheld by the new independent board, headed by Lord MacLean, which asked the committee to reconsider its original verdict, a one-match ban and 12 points added to the player's record.

On hearing the evidence, the committee have erased the additional 12-point punishment.

Now, Lawrence has to decide if he should appeal against the single match ban.

SPFA secretary Tony Higgins said: "This is a considerable step forward for us for we have argued all along that the committee should listen to all the views from everyone so that natural justice should be seen to be done.

"For the first time the committee have heard the views of the other player involved and this gives a balanced view.

They have accepted his evidence that it was unintentional.

"Following that, the committee has dealt with the matter as being foul and reckless play rather than violent conduct." Lawrence will miss the Tennents Scottish Cup tie with St Johnstone on Thursday if he does not make another appeal.

Hearts, meanwhile, are hopeful that Gilles Rousset, their French keeper, will be back for the cup-tie.

Rousset missed the league game against Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday because of a leg injury but is confdient that he will be okay for the visit to McDiarmid Park.

St Johnstone will be without their injured prolific scorer, Phillip Scott, who will be absent for the tie and some vital league matches to follow.

Taken from the Herald

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