FRUSTRATED Colin Cooper admitted referee James Adcock was right to send Jordan Richards off in the defeat at Fleetwood.
It took just two minutes and 14 seconds for the 20-year-old Sunderland-born right-back to wipe out Fleetwood Town’s Jeff Hughes, catapulting the midfielder into the air.
After receiving treatment on the side of the pitch, Hughes was substituted and left the ground in a protective cast.
Hartlepool manager Cooper, who then saw his ten men go down to two second half goals, admitted the tackle was “reckless”.
“I was blocked off by the fourth official when the incident happened and I felt as though the referee reacted to the crowd and the players around him, rather than the incident itself.
“But having seen the incident closer, I have to say that it was a reckless challenge – not only does Jordan arrive after Jeff Hughes has played the ball, he also sends Jeff up into a cartwheel.”
Cooper said he was “angry and disappointed” about the defeat but did praise his players for their effort in holding out with ten men, until quick-fire second-half goals from Jon Parkin and Alex Marrow saw Fleetwood home.
“Having been so excited with how we had trained and how we had set up and then having to change shape so early on, it is disappointing,” said Cooper.
“Having to bring Luke James off the pitch that early (the striker was replaced by defender Sam Collins) hurt me a lot and Marlon Harewood having to play as the lone man on his debut was a hard one for him.”
Fleetwood Town: Davies, Pond, Roberts, Goodall, McLaughlin, Schumacher (Mandron 63), Murdoch, Hughes (Marrow 8), Taylor, Parkin (Evans 80), Ball. Subs not used: Hogan, Cresswell, Maxwell, Carr. Booked: Ball. Goals: Parkin 67, Marrow 69.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Richards, Baldwin (Sweeney 78), Burgess, Austin, Compton (Franks 77), Walker, Walton, Monkhouse, Harewood, James (Collins 10). Subs not used: Rafferty, Holden, Rodney, Hawkins. Sent Off: Richards (3). Booked: Baldwin, Walton, Burgess.
Att: 3,009 Ref: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire).