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Fans baffled as referee dishes out very rare punishment to Wolves star after horror tackle in FA Cup game with Brentford

BEMUSED fans fear it’s the shape of things to come – after a Wolves star was given a red CIRCLE for a shock ninth-minute dismissal.

And even referee Tony Harrington’s decision to send off Joao Gomes for a challenge on Brentford skipper Christian Norgaard in Friday’s 1-1 FA Cup stalemate was roundly condemned.

Joao Gomes got a straight red card early on in the tight draw

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Joao Gomes got a straight red card early on in the tight drawCredit: Getty

The debate over Gomes’ punishment was given a whole new sphere by what the ref produced from his pocket.

Many fans were expecting a yellow card after the Brazilian caught midfield counterpart Norgard from behind.

But Harrington judged it worthy of a straight dismissal as it was a reckless lunge from behind – with VAR backing his verdict.

Out came a rarely-seen small circular red card, rather than the standard rectangular one – sparking derision and incredulity in equal measure from viewers.

One joked: “More upset about the red circle than the decision.”

Another posted: “A red circle instead of a red card. The beautiful game is dying.”

And a third fan cleverly blended the two big issues as he wrote: “Should have been a yellow circle, not a red circle.”

The sending-off itself was blasted as “incredibly soft” and “another ridiculous decision”.

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Unsurprisingly, Brentford went on to dominate possession, with Neal Maupay pouncing on a loose ball for a 41st minute opener.

But midway through the second period Tommy Doyle thumped his glorious first-ever goal for Wolves from 25 yards.

So after starting off unexpectedly round it ended up all square – meaning a replay to come.

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