Geelong has been dealt a blow to their round one chances after Steve Johnson accepted a one-match ban for striking Fremantle’s Hayden Ballantyne.

Johnson, who struck Ballantyne in the chest, faced a two match ban had he decided to challenge the Match Review Panels findings.

Geelong already face Hawthorn in round one without James Kelly who was suspended in last years Elimination final against the Dockers.

Ballantyne is renowned for getting under the skin of opposition sides, especially the Cats.

Last year Ballantyne was suspended for striking Paul Chapman behind play. Which led to Matthew Scarlett striking Ballantyne in the face. Both players were later suspended.

Hawthorn haven’t beaten the Cats since their 2008 Grand Final victory. If the Hawks are ever going to lift the ‘Kennett Curse’, the time is now.