FOUR years ago this weekend Mick Wadsworth’s Hartlepool United side were facing up to a replay away to Vauxhall Motors after being held at home.
The match finished goalless, but was marred by a red card for Pools legend Ritchie Humphreys who was sent off – for the first time in his career – after an over-zealous challenge on keeper Scott Tynan.
Not that Wadsworth, in caretaker charge that day, was laying any blame at the door of Humphreys.
After the match, the Pools boss defended his player calling him “one of the game’s gentlemen”.
Humphreys clattered into their keeper in the closing stages of the entertaining encounter, the sickening crunch had most fans recoiling in horror but there seemed no intent as both players tried to reach a 50-50 ball.
It left Tynan with a gashed, though not broken, leg.
Speaking to SportMail after the goalless draw, Wadsworth said: “All the lads and even a couple of their players were surprised (with the red).
“It was a ball between two players, the goalkeeper is a player, and he has the advantage of using his hands, and I think Ritchie is entitled to go for the ball and that’s what he did.
“He’s never been sent off, he is one of the game’s gentlemen and is really upset about it, not the sending off, he’s not concerned about himself, he’s concerned for their goalkeeper.”
Thankfully Pools went on to win the replay 1-0, thanks to a header from striker James Brown.
Murray will be hoping his side doesn’t need to take East Thurrock United to a replay to progress into the second round.
l Pools: Kean, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Gamble, Liddle, Sweeney, Monkhouse, McSweeney, Larkin. Attendance: 2,381.