Harrison frustrated as struggling Pools miss out at Halifax

Craig Harrison on the touchline
Craig Harrison on the touchline

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison has bemoaned his side’s luck, having seen Pools drop yet more away day National League points.

Second-half strikes from Nathan Hotte and Ben Tomlinson for FC Halifax Town saw Harrison’s men, second-best throughout, slide a point closer to the fifth-tier relegation zone.

And the manager was less than impressed by his players’ show.

“Frustration is the word,” said Harrison summing up his side’s 2-0 loss at the Shay.

“It looked like a 0-0 without a lot of quality form both sides.

“Both battled and fought, but it wasn’t great on the eye and was going to be 0-0 from the first 20 minutes on.

“The first goal is a huge deflection and we should have defended better. There’s an air of an own goal for the second, but we have to defend better as a team.”

Harrison, whose side take on Ebbsfleet at the Vic on Saturday, continued: “Go with a clean sheet, pick up a point and go again Saturday. It looked every bit like a 0-0 to peter out as one, but instead we conceded.

“We went close with Jake’s header in the second-half and Devante had a first-half chance, but didn’t get his shot off quickly enough.

“Two lapses of concentration and we are punished.

“The first goal is a deflection, possibly be a bit more switched on for the second. First rule of defending is what if? Worst case scenario and go from there.

“The timing of the second goal has killed it.

“It was always going to be a scrappy one, blood and thunder with little quality. We were on top second-half and then it went the other way.”

It is becoming an all too familiar script for Pools this season, but Harrison’s side again failed to keep a clean sheet and lost concentration at vital times in the game, which ultimately lost them at least a share of the spoils.

“Sometimes games like this you take a clean sheet, dig in and move on. It doesn’t have to be pretty all the time,” said the manager.

“Both goals are disappointing to concede, we gave a second away quite quickly which killed the game. Second goal is key, we’ve proved it time and time again all season.

“It’s a step back after the weekend, losing always is a step back and this wasn’t about being pretty or as good as we played on Saturday (in the 3-2 win over Woking).

“It was physical and ugly and stand up and be counted. Defend and defend properly to get something.”