Simon Walton sits out Hartlepool United visit of Mansfield

Midfielder serving ban as red card at Oxford rules him out of tonight's League Two clash.

Hartlepool United will be without Simon Walton for tonight’s League Two visit of Mansfield Town.

The midfielder was red-carded during Friday night’s 1-0 defeat at Oxford, triggering a one-game suspension.

Walton is still only a yellow card away from a further two-game suspension as he sits on nine bookings for the season, but is available for selection on Saturday when Pool host Cheltenham.

With tonight’s fixture to come between now and then, manager Colin Cooper will also face Mansfield without the services of Neil Austin and Andy Monkhouse.

The former is out with a toe problem, Monkhouse sidelined by hamstring trouble as their side look to climb from their perch at 11th in the table.

The play-off places seem a stretch as it stands, but only six points separate Pool from York in seventh.

Dagenham and Redbridge, Southend United and Plymouth Argyle lie between the two, Cooper having selection decisions to make including Michael Duckworth, who was back on the bench last Friday.

“We had nine opportunities before Friday and we now have eight opportunities,” Cooper told the club’s website following the Kassam Stadium defeat.

“I have said to the players every game presents you with an opportunity, and this was a missed opportunity.”

Mansfield come into this evening’s game without a win in their last three, drawing 0-0 with Chesterfield on Saturday in a result which leaves them sitting 18th in the table.

That game saw centre-back Ryan Tafazolli sustaining a foot injury, Ben Hutchinson already having been ruled out for the rest of the season after pulling his hamstring the previous week on reserve-team duty.

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