FA rule adjustment sees Hartlepool United defensive crisis averted - with centre-half set to be available for Gillingham cup clash

Carl Magnay (right) with manager Matthew Bates (left).
Carl Magnay (right) with manager Matthew Bates (left).

Hartlepool United will be without TWO of their three frontline central defenders for their FA Cup trip to Gillingham.

But, a third - Carl Magnay - has been confirmed as available for selection, despite picking up his fifth booking of the National League season in the 4-0 loss Bromley on Saturday.

Peter Kioso will serve a one-game suspension having been sent off at Hayes Lane at the weekend, while Andrew Davies is set to miss the second of a three-game ban for a straight red for his dismissal at Wrexham.

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Under Football Association rules for the 2017/18 season, experienced Magnay, booked by referee Leigh Doughty in the aftermath of Kioso's red, would be forced to sit out Saturday's FA Cup first round game at Gillingham.

Instead, he will miss the next National League game - at the Super 6 Stadium against Barnet - due to a law adjustment by the game's governing body in the summer.

Peter Kioso.

Peter Kioso.

While red cards carry over from league games to the FA Cup, accumulated yellow cards do not.

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FA rules and regulations state: "This Season will see the addition of Competition Specific Sanctioning for yellow cards in the following Competitions: Premier League, English Football League, National League, FA Challenge Cup, EFL Cup, FA Trophy (Please note Discipline in the EFL Trophy is Competition specific for all Discipline and remains unchanged from last season).

"Therefore, the accumulation of 5/10/15 Yellow cards apply only to League matches. The remaining Competitions will carry suspensions in those Competitions only when a player has received 2 yellow cards in that Competition.

Andrew Davies.

Andrew Davies.

"The FA will release separately the cut off points for each of the Competitions as part of the Competition notifications. Dismissals remain unaffected and apply the same as last season."

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As things stand, Kioso is just two yellow cards away from a two-game ban this season, having already sat one out for reaching five.

While yellow card counts will be wiped after the 23rd game of the National League season for players under the five-card threshold, those over it - Kioso included - will see their tally carried over.

So Kioso is still at risk of a two-game suspension, even if he does not get another two bookings between now and the Dagenham home game on December 3, which marks the official disciplinary cut off date.

Manager Matthew Bates has Myles Anderson and Magnay as his only fit central defenders for this weekend.

Youngsters Kenton Richardson and Luka Murphy were on the bench against Bromley and could be brought in from the cold against the League One outfit, should Bates opt to stick with a three at the back.