Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett reacts to Liam Donnelly's red appeal rejection

Liam Donnelly.
Liam Donnelly.

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett is baffled how Liam Donnelly's red card has not been overturned.

The Football Association yesterday threw out Pools' appeal, and decided to uphold the dismissal handed to the Northern Irishman at Barnet at the weekend.

While Pools, in their appeal, claimed Donnelly made a clear attempt to play the ball, which means under new FA rules the 20-year-old should not have been red-carded

But the FA stood by referee Nicholas Kinseley's call, which deemed Donnelly not to have tried to fairly win the ball.

Hignett is clearly not amused.

Speaking from Pools' Durham University campus training base, he said: "The referee said he made no attempt to play the ball.

"Clearly he made a massive attempt to play the ball - he is just inches from it, at the same height and is making the tackle in the same direction as the ball.

"The rule is black and white. This is not open for interpretation.

"Quite clearly has tried to go for the ball but we will have to wait for the feedback to come back to us to see why they have upheld it.

"I can't see for the life of me why we haven't won the appeal."

As a result of the decision Donnelly will now miss one game.

The defender, who has proved a more than valuable member of Pools' squad this season having filled a number of roles across the backline, will be absent this weekend, when Stamford are the visitors to the Northern Gas & Power Stadium in the first round of the FA Cup.

Hignett continued: "We will miss him for one game.

"He has been one of our best players since he came to the club so it is a blow to us.

"He should never have been sent off."