Hartlepool defender looking for boost at Stevenage

Jake Carroll in action last night

Jake Carroll in action last night

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Jake Carroll said Hartlepool United were looking to get back on track at Stevenage on Saturday after losing their Checkatrade Trophy opener at Notts County.

The full-back had a fine game at Meadow Lane where Pools lost out 2-1 to their League Two rivals.

The second half was a bit dreary but then there was a mad end.

Genaro Snijders gave County a 21st-minute lead after a swift counter-attack and while Rhys Oates pulled Craig Hignett’s side level eight minutes later, Graham Burke scored the home winner from the spot.

But the tie will be remembered more for the mass melee in injury time which ended with referee Darren England sending off Notts sub Wes Atkinson and Pools defender Toto Nsiala.

“The second half was a bit dreary but then there was a mad end,” said Carroll.

“We were desperatrely trying to get the equaliser and then it all kind of kicked off.

“I think we were a bit unlucky not to get the goal we needed to force penalties.”

Carroll was one of the best attacking outlets for Pools, along with fellow full-back Jordan Richards.

“Myself and Jordan had a lot of space to get forward and we tried to do that at every opportunity,” said the ex-Huddersfield Town defender.

“It was good we could do that and we both enjoyed it.

“We were trying to play in small balls in and around the box instead of trying to whip it in. But space was tight and it did not quite come off for us.”

Next up for Pools is a League Two trip to Stevenage who are 22nd, seven places below the boys in blue.

And Carroll says there will be no hangover for Pools.

“We’re looking to be confident and we’ll try to carry on the good football we’ve been playing,” he told SportMail.