MARCUS Maddison has been sensationally cleared of a three-game ban by the Football Association and is set to face Stevenage on Saturday.

The Bolton playmaker saw his debut ruined on Tuesday night after just 12 minutes when he received a straight red from referee Oliver Langford for a challenge on Morecambe’s John O’Sullivan.

Bolton’s camp was cautiously optimistic that their case, compiled by Ian Evatt, club secretary Simon Marland and analyst Lewis Duckmanton, could sway the FA’s disciplinary panel.

But such is a rarity of a ban being wiped out completely, Evatt was making plans to play the next few games without his talismanic on loan winger.

The Wanderers boss has slammed the reaction of Morecambe’s players for swaying the decision of West Midlands ref Langford - and believes the culture of players and dugouts seeking to gain an advantage on the officials is now spoiling the game in League Two.

“On Tuesday night the Morecambe captain ran 50 or 60 yards to get there,” he said. “ You’ve got the bench screaming ‘two footed’ and until we stamp it out of the game and the referees are strong enough to do it and teams get reported and fined on the back of it, then it’s going to continue because teams are doing everything they can to gain an advantage.

“Here at Bolton, with the board we’ve got and Sharon, the chairman, and what I am as a person, we’re trying to build a club and a culture of ethics and morals so I don’t want to be like that.

“I don’t want us to have to do that and I view it as cheating.

“At the moment we’re suffering because of it, but I’m certainly not going to change and start telling my players to do it because I don’t believe in it.”

Evatt says the problem has been exacerbated by empty stadia, which allows greater pressure to be put on officials by the teams who ‘shout the loudest’.

“Maybe it has always been there but the difference this season is that we don’t have the crowd noise to drown it out. You hear and see everything and refs are coming under increasing pressure.

“Teams have had success doing it and teams have seen it and built on it.

“My team don’t do it and I don’t want them to do it. I don’t want to be perceived as that.

“I think the lack of crowds has highlighted it even more.”