Albion defender Tommy Elphick has been cleared of besmirching the memory of former Hartlepool midfielder Michael Maidens.

Both clubs have been charged by the FA following last Saturday's fiery clash at Victoria Park.

It was Hartlepool's first match since the death of 20-year-old Maidens in a car accident and ex-Seagull Richard Barker kissed his armband in tribute when he equalised with a late penalty.

Allegations circling in the north-east suggested Elphick did the same after a heated exchange with Barker, prompted by Bas Savage's injury time strike which clinched a 2-1 win for Albion.

Barker said: "What I reacted to was something that was said when the goal went in and he (Elphick) came over and said things in an unprofessional and inhumane-like way.

"But I never accused him of disrespect to his armband and that's nothing that caused the argument. I never saw him do anything like that."

Albion and Hartlepool have been charged with failing to ensure their players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.

Hartlepool goalkeeping coach George Wood has also been handed a separate charge of improper conduct.

Wood remonstrated with Albion winger Dean Cox as he left the pitch at half-time. Hartlepool midfielder Willie Boland had been sent-off moments earlier for retaliating to a tackle by Cox.

Players from both sides also clashed at the end of the match after Savage celebrated his goal with his customary moonwalk in front of the dugouts.

The clubs have until November 13 to respond to their charges, while Wood has 24 hours longer.