PHIL Parkinson struggled to contain his frustration after admitting Altrincham had let 10-man Hartlepool United off the hook in a 1-1 draw at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

Promotion favourites Hartlepool lost right-back Lewis Cass to a straight red card for a high challenge on Matty Kosylo after only 25 minutes, and though they went ahead soon after, they were pegged back by a 45th-minute Ryan Colclough equaliser and on the back foot for virtually the entire second half.

But for all their pressure, Alty failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and had to settle for a result that had Parkinson reflecting ruefully on what might have been.

“We were well off it at the start, and I was really disappointed with that,’ said the Alty boss.

“There only looked like being one winner until they had a man sent off, but the game swung in our favour after that. There was zero pressure on us after they went down to 10.

“We absolutely dominated possession and must have had nearly 90 per cent of it, as well as getting into good areas in the box. But we just didn’t work their keeper enough, and I’m really annoyed about that.

Lewis Cass is sent off for a foul on Matty Kosylo. Picture: Jonathan Moore

Lewis Cass is sent off for a foul on Matty Kosylo. Picture: Jonathan Moore

“It is gnawing away at me, because it is such a missed opportunity to beat a team who are absolutely flying and one of the favourites to finish champions.”

He added: “We retained the ball really well, but it hasn’t gone our way in front of goal, and that is something we are going to have to improve on.

“It is a measure of how far we have come in a short time that we’re talking like this about drawing with a massive full-time club with a huge budget,.

“But after doing so much right but not being able to get over the line, I do feel really frustrated.”

Alty suffered a blow when on-loan striker Montel Gibson hobbled off with a knee problem midway through the first half and is an injury doubt as they prepare to hit the road with away games at Aldershot on Saturday and Woking next Tuesday night.

“He seemed to tweak his knee, but I also thought he looked a bit tired,” added Parkinson.

“But Josh Hancock will be back and Joe Piggott is ready to come back as well, so we have good options, going into those