POOLE Town keeper Nick Hutchings admitted he “could not believe” he had been sent off against Havant & Waterlooville.

Dolphins made a successful appeal over the red card brandished to the stopper during their 3-1 defeat to the Hawks last time out.

Referee Ian Fissenden confirmed to the Daily Echo that he had dismissed Hutchings for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity after the keeper felled Alfie Rutherford on the edge of the box.

But with Hutchings's ban rescinded, he is available for selection when Poole host Eastbourne Borough on Saturday (3pm).

Having played with 10 men for more than 70 minutes against Havant, Poole slipped back into the bottom three in National South, a cruel blow in their quest to beat the drop.

Boss Tom Killick spoke out on Twitter about the refereeing fiasco, writing: “Players get dropped and managers get sacked but referees can ruin game after game with no sanction.

“I believe standard of refereeing will not improve until they become accountable for their actions – gross incompetence should result in, say, forfeiture of half their match fee and a two-match suspension.”

Giving his take on the dismissal, Hutchings told the Daily Echo: “Once I had seen the footage of what actually happened, I could not believe I got sent off.

“I was very confident it would get overturned.

“Even at the time I thought he was going to speak to me. When he pulled out his book I thought ‘okay, he’s going to give me a booking’.

“The frustration is we don’t know what would have happened if I had stayed on the pitch.

“It’s like backing a horse and it falls before the end of the race. It’s frustrating because you don’t know what would have happened if it had carried on running.

“We are down at the bottom scrapping for every point and when things like that go against you, it’s tough to take.”

With Hutchings back in the squad, Poole face an Eastbourne outfit six points above them in the league pile.

“I realised on Saturday when I had to walk off how much more nerve-wracking it is watching than playing,” added Hutchings.

“I would not have been looking forward to sitting through a whole 90-minute game.

“It’s a six-pointer. If we win, we can drag them into trouble. If they beat us, they would like to think they are probably safe.

“There has been a considerable improvement in how we have been performing. If we can put another run of positive results together, we should be okay.

“But it’s the flip of the coin. If we go on a run of two or three more defeats then we are right in trouble again.”

Dolphins: (from) Hutchings, Williams, Smeeton, Spetch, Whisken, Moore, Baghdadi, Bedford, Bentley, Balmer, Brooks, Gillespie, Pettefer, Devlin, Aihevba, Rees.