Bitter end to Barron’s first game in charge

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MICKY Barron refuses to be drawn on his hopes regarding the vacant managerial seat at Hartlepool United – but admits his caretaker tenure has already been an emotional one.

The Pools legend – who was honoured with a testimonial in 2006 – took charge of the club for the first time during Saturday’s defeat at Brentford.

He is one of the leading contenders for the position created by last week’s sacking of Mick Wadsworth. Chairman Ken Hodcroft will this week sit down to assess all of the applications and Barron and Ritchie Humphreys – currently assistant to the caretaker-coach – are sure to figure as a proposed management duo.

Barron was officially elevated to the first-team coaching staff this year, where he worked as assistant to Wadsworth.

That relationship meant he was saddened by the 61-year-old’s departure, although thoughts quickly turned to preparing the team for the trip to the capital.

And Barron admitted that his first week in management was very testing.

“Have I enjoyed it? No, probably not,” he said. “It’s been busy and upsetting as well. But when I’m with the players and on the training ground it’s good and when I’m at the game it’s good.

“It’s the time inbetween that is different – things like thinking about subs and who will be travelling. Things I don’t normally have to do and which are new to me.

“I was a bit worried and anxious about it beforehand but enjoyed it more once the game started.”

Saturday’s game gave Barron a taste of the ups and downs of management, all packed in the final ten minutes.

For until 4.40pm, Barron had cut a fairly relaxed figure.

But Brentford then scored. Hartlepool then equalised with a superb finish from Sam Collins.

But almost immediately referee Carl Berry intervened to ruin Barron’s day – the man in black ruling that Tony Sweeney had impeded Toumani Diagouraga inside the penalty area, when the midfielder had got to the ball first.

For Pools goalkeeper Scott Flinders, though, this was a chance for redemption. Just five minutes earlier he had allowed a lame lob from Bees midfielder Niall McGinn to escape his grasp and then bounce off his own head before trickling into the net.

Flinders dived full length to block Gary Alexander’s spot-kick ... only for the ball to squirm loose and back into the path of Alexander, who gratefully smashed home the winning goal.

It was harsh on Pools and especially the caretaker boss.

Brentford: Lee, Logan, Dean, Legge, Bidwell, Saunders (Bean 86), Douglas, Diagouraga, McGinn, Alexander, Donaldson. Subs Not Used: Eger, Grella, Weston, Oyeleke. Booked: Donaldson. Goals: McGinn 80, Alexander 85.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Brown (Boyd 61), Liddle (Luscombe 87), Sweeney, Monkhouse, Murray (Solano 82), Poole. Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Haslam. Booked: Liddle, Hartley. Goals: Collins 83.

Att: 6, 352 Ref: Carl Berry (Surrey).