Hartlepool United defence worry after Scott Harrison red card

Scott Harrison is sent off
Scott Harrison is sent off

Ronnie Moore has revealed his frustration at having to constantly chop and change his defence after Scott Harrison saw red against Crawley Town.

Harrison was dismissed in the 65th minute after referee Mark Heywood harshly deemed he had handled on the line.

If we think we can appeal we will, what do we have to lose?

RONNIE MOORE

Replays clearly showed the ball struck him on the shoulder as he was turning away from the ball, which was drilled at him from close range.

Moore will carefully assess the video footage before deciding whether to appeal.

If Harrison is to serve a one-match ban and miss the trip to Wimbledon this Saturday, then Moore is faced with changing his defence again.

Injuries to Harry Worley, Jordan Richards, Michael Duckworth and Dan Jones this season plus suspensions for Carl Magnay and now Harrison have resulted in an unsettled defence.

It has left the Pools boss unable to name a regular back-line this campaign.

And Moore believes Heywood could have taken his time to assess the situation further before whipping out the red card.

“The referee was very quick to give it and having seen it, it’s debatable if it was a penalty,” said Moore.

“It was very harsh and it’s changed the game.

“I don’t understand how he can give it – Scotty turns his back and it hits the top of his shoulder, but we shouldn’t be put in that position in the first place.

“We work hard with the back four and get caught out by sloppy play.”

Moore was left visibly frustrated and angry by his side’s performance against Mark Yates’ Crawley.

The sending off of Harrison - who has been an ever present this season - capped a frustrating afternoon.

“We will have another look at the sending off,” added Moore.

“If we think we can appeal we will, what do we have to lose?

“If we genuinely think he hasn’t hand-balled it then yes but that is not the part that disappoints me most, it was how their lad got into the position to make the shot.

“Space doesn’t hurt you, it is the man on the ball we needed to close down but we didn’t get there quick enough.

“It is very frustrating having to change the defence again.

“We don’t have that many options there, Matthew Bates could come in.

“But we wouldn’t appeal it just for that reason, only if we think it is right, then we will do it.”

Meanwhile, Moore will be able to call on the services of defender Dan Jones against the Dons.

Jones was taken off in the second half with a cut above his eye following a collision.

The left-back was knocked off his feet on the edge of his own box, which led to the physio and club doctor coming onto the pitch.

He was replaced by Michael Duckworth, himself returning after a spell out with a hamstring injury.

Moore said: “Dan is fine now but he’s had two or three stitches.

“There was a point when we thought he would be stay on but then it was decided otherwise, though I thought Michael did well when he came on.”