Defenders occasionally fall foul of the man with the whistle.
But Southern United defender Graeme Pearson achieved a career-first on Saturday when he was given his marching orders following two bookable offences.
The result was his first early shower in a football career that started 23 years ago.
“I felt like I needed to apologise to the boys because you don’t want to be the one that gets sent off and be the one that causes your team to be a man down for the remainder of the game,” he said.
“But when you’re putting it all on the line out there, there’s nothing to be sorry for.”
In typical defender fashion, the 28-year-old admitted he got the timing of some of his challenges slightly wrong.
“It’s one for the memory books and I’ll make sure I take the ball and not the man next time, but it had to happen at some point,” he said.
“When you’re going into tackles hard, you’re either taking the ball or the man. I was too slow getting to the ball a couple of times I guess.”
Pearson won’t change the way he plays in future despite sitting on the sideline for Southern United’s trip to Kempsey this weekend.
“Ideally you don’t want to think too hard about if you think you’re going to make a bad foul, but if you end up making a bad tackle you get known,” he said.
The physicality of the Coastal Premier League Men’s competition has Pearson doubtful whether it will be his first and only red card.
“In this league I don’t know if that’ll be the case, but you can only hope.”