JOHN Sussex insists Basildon United are ‘not a dirty side’ despite picking up three red cards in their last two outings.

Having already seen Ernest Okoh dismissed in the weekend defeat to Maldon & Tiptree, Adam Vyse and Ayo Odukoya were also given their marching orders in the 1-1 draw with Great Wakering Rovers in midweek.

But Sussex believes the Bees do not have disciplinary problems.

The Basildon chief said: “I’m reliably told that Vysey lashed out. I didn’t see it but we can’t complain if he did.

“Ayo never really did anything. He was wound up beautifully by a very experienced player [Marc Gorbell] and he just tussled with him.

“I think he was very unfortunate to get a red card.

“It obviously makes you question whether we have disciplinary issues because anyone looking from the outside would think we do as a result of the three red cards in two games.

“But we’re not a dirty side or have bad people.

“It’s just a couple of moments of frustration and we don’t seem to be having much luck at the moment.”

Vyse, who had already missed a fourth minute penalty against his former side, was shown a second red card of the season for violent conduct midway through the first half.

Despite the setback, Basildon went in search of goals and broke the deadlock through Danny Norton.

Odukoya and Gorbell were then sent off by referee Jack Willmore for an off-the-ball incident as the Bees were reduced to nine men and Wakering lost their captain for the final moments of the Isthmian North clash.

It looked as though Basildon had done enough to seal all three points, but substitute Daniel Akindayini netted from a narrow angle in injury time to ensure Wakering would steal a share of the spoils.

But Sussex was keen to praise his side’s application following Vyse’s early dismissal.

“It was frustrating to only draw after playing close to 70 minutes with 10 men and looking like you’re going to see the game out with nine men,” added Sussex.

“Conceding in the 95th minute was a kick in the teeth.

“The boys worked so hard and did themselves proud, but it felt almost like a defeat when it would have felt like a monumental victory if we had seen the game out. It was hard to take.

“Everyone to a man was terrific. Our work rate was phenomenal and the quality on the ball was good.

“Unfortunately, one mistake at the end has cost us two points.”