Carlisle United are awaiting the report from referee Ed Duckworth before deciding whether to punish red-card striker Hallam Hope.

The wording of the official’s take on the incident in Tuesday’s friendly at Chester will also help to determine the length of Hope’s suspension.

While Chester believe Hope punched their defender Kevin Roberts, Blues manager Steven Pressley said he would be reviewing the incident before judging further action.

The 25-year-old faces the prospect of internal club sanction if the Cumbrians conclude that Hope was guilty of a serious lack of discipline in the first-half flashpoint.

United’s only comment on the matter so far today, though, is that they are still awaiting the ref’s report.

The Blues are hoping the frontman will not face a lengthy suspension, but there seems a strong chance Hope will have to sit out this weekend’s friendly against Fleetwood at Brunton Park.

The incident could not have come at a worse time for United given the serious lack of numbers in their striking department.

Pressley, after the 0-0 draw, said he could not comment fully until he had seen the incident again but did admit Hope should not have put himself at risk of dismissal.

“I just said to him at half time that a player of his experience couldn’t get involved in such a thing,” Pressley said. “We need to learn from that.”

United's boss added: "Obviously we’re disappointed with the sending off - I haven’t seen it as yet so I’ll not make comment.

"But it’s not something we needed at this time, especially at the top end of the pitch where we’re very thin.

"I’ll have a look at it. Hallam’s a very important player to us, but I’ll look over it in the next 24 hours and take the appropriate action if required.

Pressley added: “The outcome might well be that Hallam misses several games. I just hope the pre-season games count for them."

The striker's dismissal was followed by angry exchanges between the two dugouts, as joint home boss Bernard Morley also blasted Hope on the forward's way to the tunnel.

Morley later told the media Hope had punched Roberts and that this was "not acceptable".

The Chester chief also joked that United's recent training session in a Carlisle boxing gym may have led Hope to behave as he did.

Morley said: "I had a go at the lad coming off, I was bound to.

"To be punched in a friendly is not right. At what stage do you get to in terms of your adrenaline to want to punch somebody in a friendly?

"If Kevin Roberts comes for him knee high and tries to end his career then I get the reaction, but it was from nothing.

"Then we had the sort of joke that they [Carlisle] had been boxing this week. Whether Hope thinks he was still in the gym and can get away with throwing punches, I don't know."

Hope’s wait to discover his fate comes in a pre-season when he has been linked with a move away from Brunton Park.

There is no sign, though, of any further developments on that front, with fresh interest from Blackpool yet to materialise following the change of manager at Bloomfield Road, Simon Grayson having recently replaced Terry McPhillips.

Pressley, asked if there had been any progress over a possible departure for Hope, said: “Nothing I’m aware of – I haven’t heard anything, over the last [few] days.”

The signs are that United will go into the Fleetwood game still with a shortage of senior strikers, with Pressley saying he is having to be more patient than he had anticipated to land his main targets.

The manager remains confident that his top loan targets will be worth waiting for and that he is right not to rush into other deals, even though there are only 16 days before the start of the League Two season.

Carlisle are chasing strikers on the books of Championship and Premier League clubs, with Pressley believing they represent better “value for money” than the free agents they could afford.

He said: “We are still pursuing the same players, it’s just we’re having to wait a bit longer.

“Trust me, we are trying. I just don’t want to go and sign the wrong players, I want to sign the correct players for this club.

“We’re very hopeful they’ll work. We’re also working on another couple of aspects. We need three or four main strikers, several midfield players and probably another defender.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. I want to get the right players in, so I don’t want to panic.”

United’s numbers will be further reduced this weekend with trialist trio Isaac Buckley-Ricketts, Tyrone Duffus and Elliott Reeves having been released.

Their more recent trialist addition, Aaron Hayden, will be with the club for longer. “He only joined us [on Monday],” said Pressley of the ex-Wolves defender.

“We probably need a couple of weeks to fully assess him, and like the others we’ll then give him a decision.”