Hartlepool United 1 Crawley 2: That’s as bad as Pools have been for years

Rhys Oates shoots for goal
Rhys Oates shoots for goal

Hartlepool United’s lacklustre display in the defeat to Crawley Town has been labelled one of the worst “in years”.

Pools boss Ronnie Moore was left fuming with his side’s performance, particularly a dire first half showing, as he again cancelled any days off this week.

We were awful first-half, as bad as Hartlepool have been in years

RONNIE MOORE

The squad were back at Maiden Castle yesterday for light training following the defeat to Crawley, who leap-frogged Pools in the League Two table with the win.

Pools have now failed to win at home since August 18.

Brad Walker and Jake Carroll were hauled off at the break as Moore looked to breathe some energy and creativity into the side.

Moore admitted afterwards he could have taken anybody off with the exception of the lively Rhys Oates and Trevor Carson, whose saves kept Pools in the game.

“It’s disappointing, massively disappointing,” said Moore.

“We have given a side below us 45 minutes start and how we got in at 0-0 was a miracle.

“It’s more annoying for me that a set of footballers can put a performance in like that for 45 minutes.

“We were awful first-half, as bad as Hartlepool have been in years. We got out of jail to come in at 0-0.

“Then [after the break] one ball goes between the centre-backs – a great save – then a penalty conceded.”

Ex-Pools midfielder Simon Walton scored from the spot after Scott Harrison was deemed to have handled on the line, the former Sunderland centre-back shown a straight red.

Rhys Murphy added a second before Billy Paynter nodded in an 80th-minute consolation.

A despondent Moore said: “We were the home team – we have some great talkers, but not many do it. It was powder puff in the first half and I’d put that team out.

“We played two games in a week and we aren’t gifted as a squad to make seven changes.

“We stand by one or two players and [on Saturday] I found out answers about certain people.

“I won’t fall into that trap again. I could have taken anyone off at half-time, Oastesy aside who showed effort.

“I’ve not screamed and shouted, you do that too often and it goes in one ear and out the other but there are no days off this week.”