ANDY Rafferty will be thrown in for just his second professional start this weekend – but manager Mick Wadsworth insists the rookie goalkeeper is well equipped to handle the pressure.
SportMail revealed yesterday that the club would not appeal Scott Flinders’ one-match suspension, invoked as a result of his red card during Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat against Stevenage.
That means Pools’ No.1 will miss this Saturday’s League One clash at Scunthorpe United, handing Rafferty, who played for 80 minutes at the weekend, another chance to impress.
Pools believed they may have had grounds for an appeal to overturn Flinders’ dismissal, but the fear of doubling the suspension, coupled with Wadsworth’s confidence in Rafferty, meant such action was shelved.
As a result it will be the 23-year-old deputy who lines up at Glanford Park and his boss has every faith in the former Guisborough Town gloveman.
“It’s a great opportunity for Andy,” Wadsworth told SportMail today.
“I thought he did very well against Stevenage when he came on.
“He made two great saves, he came and punched one and was very close to the penalty and I was very pleased with him.
“It was a good performance for him and I’ve no problem there. He’ll be playing on Saturday.”