PAUL Ince admits Macclesfield rode their luck on Saturday, after his side made the most of Antony Sweeney's dismissal.

The Hartlepool United midfielder was red-carded and Ince's strugglers made the most of their numerical advantage.

After losing three players to long-term injuries in the last week, Ince said: "With the type of week we have had, with the injuries when we got the penalty I thought 'finally it has stopped raining'.

"Their geezer handled it on the line. The referee was only applying the letter of the law, he had to go.

"The same thing happened last week against Stockport when their player should have gone but didn't.

"After that point it was always going to be hard for them.

"I told them at half-time that we had got away with it at 1-1.''

And the former Middlesbrough skipper added: "I was worried that sometimes you see teams go on and win games with ten men and I told them I would have been fuming if we had lost that game.

"But in the second half we were well on top and it was good to go on and win it.

"In the end we could have had five or six but we didn't punish them like we should have done with the amount of chances we had.

"The last couple of minutes was always going to be tough. It is the FA Cup and they were pushing us back a bit.

"We got too deep but they didn't have anything clear cut. John Murphy got his goal but equally important was the two great defensive headers he made late in the game.''

Macclesfield's only other win this season came in the FA Cup - at Walsall.

They have gone 19 League Two games without a win and are ten points adrift at the bottom.

"I was a bit worried about this one going in to it,'' he added.

"They are decent away from home and our home form has not been what it should be.

"We lost to Boston and Mansfield here without really playing well so I was a bit concerned that there was something of a phobia abut playing here.

"We are now unbeaten in three matches and for us that is something of a run.''