Phil Parkinson hopes the Football Association appeal panel will see the same incident he did at Bristol Rovers and scrub out Nathan Doyle’s three-match ban.

The City chief insisted the club are protesting against Doyle’s stoppage-time dismissal “as a matter of principle”.

Parkinson spoke with Football League referees appointment chief David Allison yesterday before making the decision to try to get the ruling overturned.

He said: “The referee (David Phillips) confirmed to me after the game that he didn’t see anything and that is what it says in the report. It was the fourth official who thought that Nathan kicked out at their player on the floor.

“But we have watched it several times since and there is no contact there at all. It’s very harsh.

“Doyley runs over and reacts to the challenge – but a lot of people react to the challenge.

“I actually thought the referee had been excellent and he was calm in very difficult conditions.”

Tempers erupted after a foul on James Meredith by Rovers midfielder Seanan Clucas, who went unpunished. Instead it was team-mate Wayne Brown who was booked – and sent off because it was his second yellow card.

“The bizarre thing is that it was a red-card challenge but their lad did not receive anything,” said Parkinson.

“It was a needless tackle at the end of the game and things like that are going to cause some sort of reaction.

“A lot of people ran over but you can’t expect players to be angels out there. That tackle is what caused the incident.”

As it stands, Doyle’s ban will take in the FA Cup second round against Brentford and the JP Trophy trip to Port Vale before City’s next league action at home to Torquay.

“Whether they are cup ties or not, it’s more the principle of it, in all honesty,” said Parkinson. “It’s very hard on Nathan to miss the next three games and that’s why we’ve decided to do something about it.”