Murray rues Hartlepool’s very early Christmas gift to Southend

Nicky Featherstone in action for Hartlepool at Southend
Nicky Featherstone in action for Hartlepool at Southend
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PAUL Murray was disappointed to see his Hartlepool United side gift promotion-chasing Southend United the lead at Roots Hall.

Murray was always expecting the trip to Essex to be a difficult one as Phil Brown’s side are 7th in Sky Bet League Two.

What they could have done without is handing the three points on a plate to the home side in the 65th minute, through another individual error.

Nicky Featherstone, who had been impressive in the holding midfield role since signing, was robbed of the ball 60 yards out.

David Worrall burst forward on the break before finishing well past Scott Flinders.

Murray said: “The goal was very disappointing.

“Nicky gave it away, but it was a long way up the pitch and we have to organise ourselves better in situations like that.

“We then had three good chances to get one back.

“Their chance came when their lad came in from the wing and stuck it in the bottom corner while we missed what chances we had.

“They had the rub of the green and we didn’t get that.”

The Cumbrian was pleased, though, with the performance of former Dunston UTS star Scott Fenwick when he came on to make his professional debut.

Fenwick got stuck in and was booked after an altercation with Southend defender Luke Prosser.

Murray added: “Scott came on and did well and put himself about, we need a bit of that as well.

“I don’t mind seeing my players getting aggressive when they have to.”

* Hartlepool United’s reserve team are in action today away to Gateshead in a Final Third Development League fixture. The match kicks off at 2pm at the International Stadium.

Reserve coach Sam Collins will be leading the side, which has lost two and won one of its opening league programme.