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Matthew Bates says Graham Stack's actions have 'no place in football' after altercation with Hartlepool's Liam Noble

Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates is angry an off-field altercation between Graham Stack and Liam Noble went unpunished by referee Leigh Doughty.

Bates refused to confirm the nature of the incident, which took place at half-time in the tunnel.

The manager did confirm the incident left Noble “upset” and “shaken”, and he believes Stack’s actions have no place anywhere near a football field.

Pools boss Bates thinks it should have been 11 v 10 in the second 45, with Stack sent to the stands for his actions.

“The keeper has made a few good saves but what went on at half-time, the keeper should not be on the pitch for the second half,” said Bates after the Eastleigh clash.

“I have got to be honest, I did not see the incident. I know people who did see it and I know Liam (Noble). Something has gone on, I do not want to say much else on it really.

Matthew Bates.

Matthew Bates.

“That sort of thing does not belong in a football stadium, and should not happen from any player, never mind such an experienced one.

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“We did not let it have an impact at half-time. Liam was upset with what happened.

“I don’t mind teams coming here and trying to unsettle us fairly, we do that when we go away, that’s football.

Luke James shields the ball from two Eastleigh defenders.

Luke James shields the ball from two Eastleigh defenders.

“That does not belong here - that’s not football.”

Assessing his side’s performance, Bates thinks his players definitely did enough to take all three points from the clash.

While he was disappointed with the result, and some part of his team’s show, he still believes Pools were by far the better side on the day.

“I thought we were unlucky not to win,” said Bates.

“To be honest I am sick of saying this but we should have had the opposition dead and buried.

“I am disappointed the way we came out in the second half. I don’t think we really got going until they scored the equaliser. That’s the most disappointing thing, really.

“Over the 90 minutes we deserved to win and I think on another day we do.”

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One player who has particularly stood out for Bates in recent weeks has been Myles Anderson.

“Myles has done well,” said Bates.

“He won’t mind me saying he has been a bit hit and miss during games.

“But he had a stop-start season last year and the more games he has the better he is getting.

“He has settled into the team, settled into the system and has stepped in for Andrew Davies well.

“Myles is a top player and a top fella. He is one of the players you want to succeed in the game.”

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Meanwhile, Bates has revealed why Luke Williams was again absent from the matchday 16 for the weekend game.

It has been widely expected that the midfielder would be in the Pools 16, with a spot on the bench looking all but certain.

But Williams was again out.

Bates has explained why.

“He was going to be involved but he got a kick on Friday, so he was again disappointed,” said the manager.

“Luke trained really well on Thursday and Friday then went into a block tackle and got a kick on his ankle.

“It was a little bit sore but nothing serious.”