Hartlepool United see red over keeper’s dismissal

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HARTLEPOOL United will not appeal Scott Flinders’ red card during the FA Cup exit against Stevenage – despite disagreeing with the decision to dismiss the goalkeeper.

The Pools No.1 was given his marching orders just eight minutes into Saturday’s first-round tie when he brought down Chris Beardsley inside the penalty area, Scott Laird subsequently scoring the game’s only goal past substitute keeper Andy Rafferty.

Television replays show defender Neil Austin had recovered to block the striker’s path to goal and the ball was travelling away from the target.

However, referee Mark Haywood deemed it a straight red card, invoking an automatic one-game ban.

Manager Mick Wadsworth said: “It’s difficult to appeal. You don’t get much help with these type of things.

“So for this, for the sake of one game, I think we’ll just sit with it.

“It gives Andy Rafferty a great chance at Scunthorpe on Saturday.”

And, of the decision to red card Flinders, Wadsworth went on: “There’s no question that it was a penalty.

“But I find it very difficult to agree with the red-card decision.

“It’s nowhere near a clear goalscoring opportunity and I’m sure their striker would not have got to the ball.”

Pools did, however, emerge with credit after an improved second-half display.

Wright and Hartley at centre-back revelled in the physical battle and Liddle crunched through a couple of meaty challenges.

Andy Monkhouse came closest to restoring parity and forcing a replay late on, dropping a delicate lob above and beyond a rooted Chris Day only to rattle the frame of his goal.