Paul Murray pleased with character shown by his Hartlepool United players

Hartlepool United manager Paul Murray. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool United manager Paul Murray. Picture by FRANK REID

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PLEASED Hartlepool United boss Paul Murray has praised the “spirit and desire” of his players after they came from 2-0 down to secure a point.

With ten minutes of the Sky Bet League Two match against Newport County left to play, struggling Pools were trailing by two and facing certain defeat.

But then Brad Walker popped up with a wonderful strike from the edge of the area before Michael Duckworth sealed the comeback with an 87th minute equaliser.

Pools could have gone on to win the match against ten-man Newport, who had Andy Sandell sent off in the second-half.

Murray admitted he went through all sorts of emotions on the bench but he was pleased to come away with a point, if not a little disappointed it wasn’t all three.

“I went through the full range of emotions,” said the Pools gaffer.

“There was disappointment from the goals that we conceded but we turned it around in the second half.

“We changed shape and went to a 4-4-2 and brought Sidney Schmeltz on and it worked really well for us.

“By the end of it I thought we should have won the game.

“We conceded two poor goals but in the second-half the lads were immense.

“It can be difficult playing against ten men.

“To show the spirt and desire to get back into the game was superb and that has to be the catalyst for us to move up the league.”

Pools, who remain bottom of the Football League, had gone behind to goals from Chris Zebroski in the 38th minute and Aaron O’Connor’s 57th minute finish.

But Murray’s men rallied and secured themselves a valuable point thanks to two fine finishes from Walker and then Duckworth at Victoria Park.

Twitter: @RichMennearJP