Hartlepool boss frustrated by referee in Luton draw

Nicky Featherstone is sent off. Picture by Frank Reid
Nicky Featherstone is sent off. Picture by Frank Reid

Hartlepool United were robbed of their first home victory in five months by poor refereeing decisions, according to gaffer Craig Hignett.

The Pools boss believes the decision to send off Nicky Featherstone was the turning point in last night’s clash with Luton Town.

It’s never a red card in a million years.

The hosts were one goal to the good - courtesy of Nathan Thomas - and cruising until the skipper was given his marching orders by Seb Stockbridge.

A late Alan Sheehan strike rescued a point for Luton, while Pools were down to 10 men.

And Hignett points to the decisions of Stockbridge as a key factor in two points slipping away from his side, much like it did at Plymouth Argyle at the weekend.

“The sending-off typifies the standard of refereeing at this level,” he said.

“Nicky won the ball, both studs up. The explanation was Nicky caught him the chest, which he didn’t.

“It’s never a red card in a million years. Plymouth at the weekend would have had eight men if that was the case.”

Reflecting on the performance of his players, Hignett continued: “We should have won without a doubt, we all saw it

“The lads were brilliant and put a real shift in, especially down to ten men when they were disciplined.

“We had chances, they had chances, Podge (Padraig Amond) hit the post to make it two and if we had 11 men we would have seen it out.”

It seems week after week Hignett is pointing the finger at the officials and praising his players.

The manager even admits himself he’s sick to death of talking in those terms. Well, about the former not the latter.

“It can’t carry on like this, we don’t get decisions,” he said.

“But I will talk about the spirit and togetherness and being hard to beat.

“We’ve played two teams with much more resources than us and we have looked the better team in both and should have come away with six points.

“Performances have been brilliant and the opposition have been in a game and they know it – but for some unbelievable decisions we would have come away with six points.

“We would have had a win at Plymouth but for a penalty which since then I’ve been told by officials that it wasn’t a penalty

“We are racking up red cards and none have been, for me, red cards apart from Toto at home to Newport.

“I cannot accept our team getting nothing – and I mean nothing.”