Hartlepool United players at the end of the game. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United players at the end of the game. Picture by FRANK REID

PETER Hartley today delivered a scathingly honest assessment of Hartlepool United’s sorry 1-0 defeat at Leyton Orient, declaring: “We should be ashamed.”

The Pools skipper – one of few to emerge with a grain of credit following last night’s loss – believes his side were lacking in fight, energy and ideas at Brisbane Road.

And it is hard to disagree with the centre-back after a performance which was deserving of a far greater margin of defeat.

Pools were, however, spared the indignity of slumping to the bottom of League Two thanks to a 90th-minute Carlisle United equaliser at 24th-placed Bury.

But Hartley refused to pull any punches when he spoke to SportMail: “It wasn’t good enough from start to finish – no excuses,” said the Hartlepool-born centre-back.

“The whole team weren’t at it.

“As a team we should be ashamed to be professional footballers on that performance.

“I’m the type of person who wears his heart on his sleeve – playing for Hartlepool United is everything I ever wanted to do.

“So I’m upset and disappointed

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“It was just an awful performance.”

Pools defended from the off against The O’s and only the heroics of goalkeeper Scott Flinders saw then survive until the break without concession.

But within minutes of the restart Ryan Brunt had headed the decisive goal to extend Pools’ winless run to 10 matches.

And Hartley went on: “We didn’t help each other and we played as individuals.

“If one of your mates is having a bad day you help him out, but that just didn’t happen.

“There were a few home truths in the dressing room and some people aren’t pulling their weight.

“We just lost the ball too often and it was a difficult game to play in.

“We were very poor and invited pressure – all we seemed to do was defend.

“We did not keep the ball at all.

“Big Scotty was different class and if it wasn’t for him it would have been more.

“We had a couple of half chances to nick a draw, but we wouldn’t have deserved it, I’m so disappointed with that, it has to be so much better.”