Pools boss happy with Bay watch – as big kick-off looms

Pools boss Craig Harrison.
Pools boss Craig Harrison.
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Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison expressed his satisfaction at a job well done at Whitley Bay – even if Saturday’s friendly ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Northern League outfit fought back to draw courtesy of Callum Patton’s well-executed 53rd-minute penalty. “The game provided what we wanted it to provide,” explained Harrison, whose side’s opening National League match is at home to Dover Athletic this weekend.

“It got the lads who did not play on Friday night (in a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough Under-23s) 90 minutes to get ready for this week.

“I don’t want any excuses from people – whichever team I pick on Saturday, the players have to be physically ready and Saturday ticked all the boxes for that.

“Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to win the game, but it did what I wanted it to do and provided exposure for younger players.”

Harrison felt Pools let Whitley Bay off the hook at Hillheads. Trialist Lewis Maloney’s brilliant early goal was followed by some dangerous attacking football.

But Pools could not find a winner, with Bay keeper Tom Flynn making great saves from Jake Cassidy, Junior Mondal and Jon Franks.

“The conditions were quite tough, it was blustery, the pitch was dry and a bit bobbly, Overall, we got what we wanted out of it,” said Harrison. “The physical preparations for this week was the main thing we wanted before anything.”