JACK Baldwin was gutted that Hartlepool United were dumped out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last night – despite “battering” Rotherham.
The defender could not believe his side had lost following one of their most impressive performances of the season.
Pools dominated possession, had 18 attempts at goal and hit the woodwork, but were still edged out by the League One side, who now progress to the northern area semi-final.
The home side dominated the first 45 minutes but goals from Tom Eaves and Kieran Agard gave Steve Evans’ side a half-time lead and that proved to be enough.
Andy Monkhouse, who could have had a hat-trick, had earlier equalised for Colin Cooper’s men in an entertaining match at the Vic.
Baldwin said: “Everyone in the changing room are gutted. The performance was probably one of the best we have had this season.
“They are middle of League One and we have absolutely battered them.
“We dominated the possession, attempts on goal, and their keeper has made three or four vital saves and we have hit the woodwork.
“We put the performance in that we needed too but couldn’t get the result.
“They shut the back door but we were trying to work out a way through.
“The football we played at times was really good.
“We have hit the woodwork, the keeper has made vital saves but it has just not fallen for us.
“Hopefully we can continue the performances in the league and continue to work our way up the league.”
Pools are away to Newport County in League Two on Friday night.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Collins, Austin, Franks (Richards 87), Walton, Dolan (Sweeney 80), Monkhouse, Poole (Walker 85), James. Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Burgess. Booked: Austin. Goals: Monkhouse 24.
Rotherham: Collin, Brindley, Morgan, Mills, Skarz (Pringle 60), Milsom, Tidser, Frecklington, Agard, Tubbs (Nardiello 67), Eaves (Revell 68). Subs Not Used: Shearer, Davis. Booked: Tidser, Skarz, Frecklington, Agard, Nardiello, Brindley. Goals: Eaves 9, Agard 45.
Att: 2,911 Ref: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).