Macclesfield Town 2, Hartlepool 1.

DANNY Wilson left Macclesfield on Saturday with a burning sense of injustice, after his side's FA Cup hopes were controversially ended by a referee's decision.

And his anger aimed in the direction of Clive Penton will have gone up a notch yesterday afternoon, when Macclesfield were handed a third round tie trip to Chelsea.

Some 24 hours before Amir Khan picked out ball No 50 to pair it up with Chelsea, Hartlepool United were a goal in front and very much untroubled by the team who sit at the bottom of League Two, without a win in the division all season.

But Antony Sweeney's face blocked a goalbound shot and referee Penton ruled the midfielder kept it out with his hands.

The resulting red card and successful penalty meant Paul Ince's poor side had the advantage and they made the most of it, while Pools struggled to cope with the numerical advantage, the referee and their own frustration afterwards.

Pools will this morning lodge an instant appeal in the hope of clearing Sweeney for tomorrow's League One trip to Notts County. Even if they are successful, it's scant consolation after yesterday's cup draw.

Wilson was unable to get his hands on the match video immediately after the game as a jobsworth Macclesfield club official wouldn't release it.

After a ten minute delay, Wilson got to see the tape and instantly said: "The game has changed on a decision which was totally wrong. He's made a big, big call on a handball which wasn't handball.

"His hands are virtually by his side and, on the back of it, he's made another bad decision by sending the boy off - it's cost us the game.

"And you can't say it wasn't because of that, because it's changed the game completely.

"The referee has a big responsibility and he's got it wrong.

"I've seen the video and my opinion is clear and so will anybody's who sees it. The ball has been smacked at him from two yards, he couldn't get out the way of it and if it was handball it would have been because of that - but it wasn't, it's hit him in the face.''

In October, Pools were in a similar situation. Leading 1-0, Jon Daly was sent off for a supposed foul on David Artell and Wilson saw his side lose 2-1.

Daly was subsequently cleared on appeal and Wilson is confident Sweeney will follow suit.

"It's so frustrating because twice this season we've been punished and lost games because of a sending off which wasn't,'' said Wilson.

"We had it at Chester, but that wasn't down to the referee, it was a player conning him, and now this. We have lost two games because of two major decisions.

"All you ask from our point of view is to get the major decisions right and we haven't had it. He's got it totally wrong.

"There's not a case of stopping the game and calling on video technology to check the decision at the time - it's down to the referee and giving his clear view on a big decision.

"And if they are the best available then you have to trust their judgement - on this occasion, he's got it wrong.

"He might have refereed the rest of the game OK, that was debatable, but he's there for the major decisions and he hasn't got it right.''

And he added: "Goalline decisions then fine, have a look at it, but you can't stop a game for every decision which is made. That's down to the referee.

"Our goalkeeper was fouled in the build up to the penalty - that's another big decision wrong. It's up to the referees to get the right decisions at the right times.

"He made three crucial decisions in a matter of minutes. And here we are again talking about referee's after a game which isn't like me at all.

"He's had a major contribution to the outcome, there's no doubt about it. It has to be stated, he has cost us the game. Of course I'm moaning about it - and I'll be moaning about it all week as well because it was an injustice.

"All we can do is appeal - and we will do it straight away - and I am sure he will get off.''

Pools went in front when, from an Ali Gibb cross, defender Carl Regan, under pressure, knocked the ball over his own keeper and into the net.

Jon Daly, as the ball looped over Asmir Begovic, slid in to get a touch for a much-needed goal, but the general consensus was that he was too late.

As half-time approached, Daly put a cross over and Lee Bullock, advancing through the middle, had a free header from an inviting position.

It should have been 2-0 and it would have been game over, but his header was too close to Begovic and the keeper was allowed to save.

Within seconds, Ince's side had their first shot, Konstantopoulos pushing over a Jamie Tolley drive from 25 yards.

From the corner, Konstantopoulos lost it under pressure, Sweeney was sent off and the rest is history.

"Until then, we were in control and comfortable,'' said Wilson. "Two set plays have cost us and the winner came from a free-kick, but that's down to having ten men in the first place.

"We started making tackles and giving away free-kicks, which we shouldn't have, but that was because we were stretched and down to ten men.

"They hadn't troubled us at all. The biggest trouble was from the bad decision.''

A man down and Pools left just Daly up front, with Eifion Williams, so impressive in the front line, dropping into midfield.

Pools went behind when a free-kick from the right was nodded on and John Murphy got ahead of Ben Clark to head across Konstantopoulos.

There was still more than enough time to at least level, but Pools didn't create enough and Konstantopoulos had to make good saves from Tolley and Hadfield.

Mark Tinkler was introduced as Pools went to 3-4-2, Williams pushing up alongside Daly again, before Willie Boland was taken off in place of Michael Maidens.

When Pools were in need of someone to put their foot on the ball and keep possession, Gavin Strachan would have been a decent option, but the midfielder stayed on the bench.

"It's difficult to do it (change systems) on a positive note and we went three at the back for an extra striker up top, but when you are on the counter attack , it's trying to scramble back,'' said Wilson.

"We had to keep the ball up top as long as we could and get up there to help out. It was hard going.''

Hard going, but not as hard as seeing the FA Cup draw yesterday.