Hartlepool boss says Liam Donnelly could get extra ban for ‘stupid’ behaviour

Liam Donnelly earns a red car for awful behaviour to the referee. Picture by Frank Reid.
Liam Donnelly earns a red car for awful behaviour to the referee. Picture by Frank Reid.

Dave Jones is bracing himself to be without Liam Donnelly for the rest of the season.

The defender was sent off in stoppage time in Hartlepool United’s costly 2-1 defeat at Leyton Orient following a shameful confrontation with the referee.

Pools were incensed that Dean Whitestone gave a goal-kick when they were convinced a Nathan Thomas shot had been deflected for a corner.

Donnelly chased after the referee, remonstrating with him and earning a booking.

The Northern Ireland U21 international did not back down and instead squared up to the official, who showed him a second yellow and then a red.

He was lucky it was not a straight red.

Ordinarily, two yellow cards would constitute a one-match ban, ruling him out of Saturday’s home match with Barnet.

But Jones suspects it could be a steeper punishment.

“Depending on the referee report, it might be more than that [one game],” said the boss.

“He’ll have to answer for what he’s done. It was stupid.”

Jones explained that he could not bring himself to talk to the 20-year-old after the game.

“What Liam does, I can’t bring myself to ask him what he was doing,” he said.

“I know he’s upset [about the decision], but you can’t square up to the referee like that.

“I’ve not seen anything that for a long, long time.”