Hartlepool Utd 0 Sheffield Utd 1: Cooper rages at Blades’ penalty winner

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Hartlepool United boss Neale Cooper was left in a rage after a soft penalty award and a late red card cost his side a deserved return against Sheffield United, writes Craig Hope.

Pools had more than matched their promotion-chasing visitors and it took a dubious spot-kick 11 minutes from time to separate the teams.

Home skipper Sam Collins tangled with Ched Evans inside the area but, despite minimal contact, referee Carl Boyeson, on the advice of his assistant, pointed to the spot.

And it was Evans who tucked home for the decisive goal.

Moments later Peter Hartley was shown a second yellow card having protested the soft award of a free-kick and he will now miss the Good Friday trip to Colchester United.

A furious Cooper was spoken to by Boyeson and the fourth official, the Scot evidently aggrieved following what had been a valiant display.

* Report in tonight’s Football Echo