BRIAN CLOSE will learn his fate today when Darlington appeal against the Irishman's controversial sending off.

The Belfast-born defender was dismissed for a deliberate handball in Saturday's FA Cup first round draw with Yeovil Town.

However, Quakers boss David Hodgson will contest referee Phil Joslin's decision to red card Close before an FA panel today.

Despite Joslin's original admission to Close that he was sent off for a professional foul, the Newark official's report has stated that the former Middlesbrough man was penalised for 'deliberately handling the ball'.

With Quakers leading 3-2 in injury time, Close reacted with his hand to stop a Yeovil attack. Initial reports suggested Close was the last man when he denied Yeovil striker Kevin Gall a scoring opportunity. But replays show Matt Clarke was the last defender when the incident occurred.

Close faces a one-match ban, which would come into immediate effect at Swansea City tomorrow night.

A club spokesperson confirmed: "The referee has filed his report and we will be appealing against Brian Close's red card.

"Brian was sent off for a deliberate handball, which would ban in him for one game."

The replay with Yeovil has been re-scheduled for November 23 and Quakers return to the South-West three days later for a Friday night match at Cheltenham Town.

Boston United have yet to seek approval from their ground owners to bring their League Two clash with Quakers forward a day.

The fixture is scheduled to take place on December 18, but the York Street club want to move the game to a Friday kick-off to allow for Christmas shopping.

A club spokesperson said: "Boston have appealed and we do not anticipate any problems.

"With people doing their Christmas shopping, Boston are keen to bring the game forward to Friday.

"As it stands, the game is still scheduled for a Saturday kick-off until further notice."

* Steve Claridge believes he can continue playing beyond the age of 40 after making a successful debut for Brighton in Saturday's victory at West Ham.

The 38-year-old striker has joined the Seagulls on an initial one-month contract but, after playing 89 minutes of Brighton's 1-0 win, he is keen to tie up a long-term deal.

''I've made it clear I would like to come here on a permanent basis,'' Claridge said.

''I've looked after myself and I'm confident I can go on for the rest of this season and next at least.''

* Cambridge have relieved assistant manager Dale Brooks of his duties and replaced him with youth team boss Ricky Duncan.

United vice-chairman Roger Hunt said: ''It's very unusual (to part company) with an assistant manager but it's a democratic board and that is the decision we have come to.''

* Port Vale have parted company with 33-year-old Austrian midfielder Andreas Lipa, who has struggled with injury.

Read more about the Quakers here.