SAM Collins didn’t pull any punches assessing his own performance in Hartlepool United’s defeat to York City – admitting two of the goals were his fault.
The 37-year-old centre back has been reinstated to the Pools line-up under Paul Murray and had been one of the more consistent performers recently.
But he allowed York defender Keith Lowe to evade him twice from corner routines, once in the 53rd minute and then again two minutes later as York completed a dramatic turnaround at Victoria Park.
Pools had gone into the break leading 1-0 through Scott Fenwick before Lowe scored twice to turn the game on its head.
The player coach was honest enough to admit his part after the game.
“They worked hard but the goals we gave away weren’t good enough from our point of view,” said Collins.
“The goals were tough to take – I was marking the lad for set-pieces, so it was my fault.
“I’ve been here long enough and people know if I make a mistake I will hold my hands up.
“The two goals were my fault.
“He got across me and we should have done better for the short corner, but both times he got across me.
“If I make a mistake, I hold my hands up – it’s my fault.”
The Minstermen completed their turnaround in the 63rd minute, Jake Hyde shooting low past Scott Flinders to seal the three points.
Victory moved relegation rivals York City up to fifth bottom in League Two, six points above Pools who remain bottom.
What made the result doubly frustrating for Collins was that Pools had dominated the final half-hour of the opening 45 minutes.
Fenwick put the home side ahead after 27 minutes but then missed two good opportunities, while Marlon Harewood also squandered a chance just before half-time when he dragged the ball wide.
Collins added: “After the first ten minutes, the first half was probably the best we have played in a long time.
“We did things well, things we had worked on all week.
“We were on the front foot, strikers winning tackles and chasing – that’s what we have to do to get out of this situation.
“We could have comfortably been two or three in front.
“They couldn’t get out of their half, shots, crosses, we kept getting in behind them.
“Then second-half and it was a different team.
“No-one could see that coming at all.
“We had spoken at half-time about starting well and getting the ball back quickly.
“We had worked during the week on getting down the sides of them and turning their defenders around and we didn’t do enough of it second-half.
“The goals we gave away were bad ones.
“They were good at set-pieces and they are a massive part of football in any league.
“It’s important to do the job properly.”
Next up for Pools is Wycombe Wanderers at home next Saturday and Collins says now is the time to stand up and be counted.
He added: “It’s about character now.
“Listen we don’t want to lose but we have to take the positives from the first-half.”
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