Nicky Featherstone looks set to win an instant Hartlepool United recall following the club’s decision not to appeal against Carl Magnay’s six-game suspension.
The Football Association banned Magnay after finding him guilty of spitting following his late red card at Wycombe Wanderers last month.
Pools had played the 26-year-old last Saturday against Luton Town while they awaited the written report from the FA.
After digesting that and taking legal advice, Pools have decided against an appeal.
Magnay had played alongside Michael Woods last week in central midfield against the Hatters and was superb as Pools switched from their 4-3-3 formation to a 4-4-2.
Featherstone was the player to make way, but with Magnay now out for the next six matches and Matthew Bates poorly, the Yorkshireman will be the favourite to reprise his partnership with Woods.
Moore labelled Magnay’s absence as “massive” but says Featherstone will be champing at the bit to return.
“In midfield we will miss Carl – him and Woodsy were excellent last Saturday against a very good side,” said Moore.
“It would have been nice to have had them both available for Northampton.
“Nicky will feel hard done by because we haven’t been bad in there.
“I felt we were good at 4-4-2 last week, if we do that at Northampton they will know they have been in a game.
“Matty is not feeling so good
“He might be OK, we will wait and see what his situation is.
“Nicky will be wanting to be back in there to show what he can do so we have competition for places.”
Moore says Magnay will be a major miss, especially given his versatility.
“He’s a massive loss,” said Moore. “He was coming into the form we know he can produce.
“He was fantastic against Luton. The crowd were good and they got behind him.
“He can also play centre-half or right-back, so we’ll miss him.
“We’re really short at right-back, we only have Brad Halliday, Michael Duckworth’s still not quite right.
“Ducky will probably start training today and he might be all right for next Saturday.”
Moore said he and the club were “disappointed” by the FA’s ruling.
“We have the FA reason and we know why he’s been banned,” said the manager.
“We have taken legal advice on it and, unfortunately, we feel we cannot appeal it on the advice we have been given.”
Moore and Pools feel Magnay has been dealt with “harshly”.
There is no dispute that the former Grimbsy defender spits as he goes off but the club and manager back the player’s view that he was not spitting at anyone.
“It’s disappointing,” said Moore. “If anyone had a chance to look at the DVD, it’s very, very harsh.
“To get three games for the sending-off which was debatable anyway.
“Then the spitting at, or in the vicinity of where supporters were? You know if someone spits on you there’s a reaction – if you look at the DVD, there’s no reaction.
“So it’s harsh, but we have to take it on the chin and move on.”