Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett believes referee lost control of Plymouth clash

Craig Hignett is sent to the stands.
Craig Hignett is sent to the stands.

Boss Craig Hignett reckons referee Gavin Ward lost control of Hartlepool United's 1-1 draw at Plymouth Argyle.

In a mad end to the entertaining encounter Hignett was sent to the stands for protesting a late penalty awarded against his side, when Aristote Nsiala was adjudged to have raised his boot to Jimmy Spencer in the area. Scott Harrison was then dismissed for kicking the ball away.

Check out our dedicated Hartlepool United Facebook page. Get all your news straight to your feed. Just give us a like.

This came just minutes after Ward also had threatened to dismiss substitutes Billy Paynter and Nicky Deverdics.

“It was frightening," Hignett said of Ward's performance.

"You saw it, I can say he lost control because he did lose control.

"I don’t know what he was booking players for. I don’t what what the explanations were. The penalty was laughable and Toto kicks the ball quite clearly.

"Referees make a rod for their own back and I don’t condone players going for him at every decision, but when it descents like that I understand it."

Jake Jervis' strike with just six minutes left on the clock robbed Pools of what would have been a vital win at Home Park, against the side who are top of the pile in League Two.

Earlier Nathan Thomas had opened the scoring. When asked whether his winger meant it, Hignett said: "He said he meant it.

"I took his word for it, but he has been known to lie once or twice.

"We got in some great positions and it’s a disappointment we didn’t score.

"We defended really well, done enough to see it out, but that was 15 minutes I’ve never seen before on a football field."