FRUSTRATED Jack Baldwin believes his Hartlepool United team-mates were desperately unlucky to lose last night’s FA Cup tie against Coventry City.
And the 20-year-old has called on Pools to take out their frustrations against Burton Albion in the weekend’s Sky Bet League Two match at Victoria Park.
Essex-born Baldwin was almost the hero last night, equalising with a power header from a Matty Dolan corner to pull the scores level at 1-1 in the 87th minute.
But Baldwin’s third goal of the season, which cancelled out Leon Clarke’s 36th minute opener, wasn’t enough to send the second round replay into extra-time as Clarke popped up with seconds left to put the League One side through.
Pools had shown a strong spirit and determination to come back so late and the central defender admitted afterwards that the Pools players thought they may have even nicked a win before the final whistle.
But it wasn’t to be and Steven Pressley’s Coventry City side will now play Barnsley at Oakwell in the third round.
A deflated Baldwin said: “Towards the end it was really frustrating, for them to nick the late winner and win the tie so late on.
“We thought we could maybe hold on and go into extra-time after we’d equalised or maybe even nick it before the final whistle. But it was really frustrating to come away with nothing.
“In the end we were unfortunate to lose.
“We have played a few League One clubs and we have shown we can hold our own.
“We battered Rotherham at home, Bradford as well.
“We have to take out all the frustrations against Burton on Saturday at The Vic and show what we can do.”
Coventry weren’t able to play Clarke and striker partner Callum Wilson, who have more than 25 goals between them this season, in the game at Victoria Park due to injury and suspension.
But the pair were back with a vengeance last night.
And Baldwin admits it was a steep learning curve for him and his 22-year-old defensive colleague Christian Burgess.
Baldwin said: “It was very different from when we played them at home, when they just had the small lad Franck Moussa up top. You wouldn’t say he was an out-and-out striker.
“But Clarke and Wilson were very lively up top and we had to be on our games and keep the back door shut. Looking back, we could have done slightly better with the two goals.
“But they are both very good strikers and it is a learning curve for both of us to play against such a good pair of strikers.”
Coventry: Murphy, Christie, Jordan Clarke, Seaborne, Adams, Baker (Webster 90), Conor Thomas, Fleck, Moussa, Leon Clarke, Wilson (Daniels 84). Subs Not Used: Barton, Phillips, Garner, Haynes, Gott. Goals: Leon Clarke 36, 90.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Compton (James 57), Walton (Poole 69), Walker, Dolan, Monkhouse, Franks (Collins 84). Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Sweeney, Holden, Rodney. Booked: Baldwin, Monkhouse. Goals: Baldwin 88.
Att: 1,214 Ref: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire).