Soccer players don’t always have the best reputations in the world when it comes to faking injuries, flopping, or generally trying to avoid accountability. Doncaster Rovers midfielder Lee Tomlin tried to do just about all of that and more on Saturday and paid for it with two yellow cards in the span of 17 seconds, leading to his ejection from the match.
The 33-year-old, who was making his Doncaster debut after signing a one-year deal with the club this week, certainly made his mark against Bradford City on Saturday afternoon in a League Two showdown.
With the score knotted at 0-0 during injury time at the end of the first half, Tomlin interfered with Bradford City’s attempt to take a free kick by leaning down to touch the ball and getting in the face of opponents. That led to a yellow card from the referee. Tomlin refused to back down and then hit the ground in apparent pain despite barely being touched. Given the obvious attempt to stop play, the ref hit him with a second yellow card 17 seconds later, which meant his day was over.
Lee Tomlin 😭
— Joe 🇨🇴 (@WfcJoe_) July 30, 2022
Tomlin pointed at himself after being ejected from the game, as if to say “who, me?” might be the best part.
Even the Bradford City Twitter account couldn’t help but call it as they saw it.
🟥 45+5' | RED CARD | Donny down to 10 men. Very, very strange. Lee Tomlin kicks the ball away and is booked, then throws himself to the floor immediately after to earn a second yellow.
— Bradford City AFC (@officialbantams) July 30, 2022
The whole silly situation garnered a lot of fun reactions from around the soccer world.
Possibly the worst red card I have ever seen. https://t.co/kUyOPk76Rq
— Steve Dresser (@dresserman) July 30, 2022
The state of this 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/7uAMFIpDlo
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) July 30, 2022
We have to say, this is one of the most gloriously petulant red cards that you're ever likely to see 🤣pic.twitter.com/3c1E24X9Ee
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) July 30, 2022
League Two is straight comedy 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Uiqz9hLZYt
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) July 30, 2022
Lee Tomlin ladies and gentlemen.
Football is back.
— Edward Walker (@edward_w97) July 30, 2022
Occasionally you have to take one for the team. Lee Tomlin did the right thing here getting this red card pic.twitter.com/mhQnVhm6aK
— Max Rushden 💙 (@maxrushden) July 30, 2022
The match ended 0-0 so you could make the case that his prevention of Bradford City’s goal attempts paid off…