Hartlepool Utd boss bemoans penalty at Colchester

Antony Sweeney out jumps the Colchester United defence to head Pools in front. Picture by FRANK REID

Antony Sweeney out jumps the Colchester United defence to head Pools in front. Picture by FRANK REID

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NEALE Cooper bemoaned the concession of a late penalty which cost Hartlepool United three points at Colchester United.

Pools were easing their way towards successive away victories thanks to Antony Sweeney’s first-half header as yesterday’s game entered the final 10 minutes.

But a mis-timed challenge by midfielder Paul Murray on U’s substitute Gavin Massey inside the area allowed West Ham loanee Freddie Sears to level from the spot.

“It’s disappointing not to see the game out and concede a penalty in that manner,” said Cooper after the 1-1 draw.

“The lad is away from goal and Paul stuck a leg out.

“It’s a soft penalty and Paul is experienced enough to know you can’t do that in the area and they weren’t really a threat to us all day.”

Pools took the lead on 17 minutes when Sweeney rose to nod home Evan Horwood’s cross for his seventh of the season.

The visitors dominated thereafter but, crucially, failed to add to their tally.

And Cooper went on: “It was some of the best football we have played away from home and we looked good in attack as well.

“But scoring has been our problem. We create chances but have to be more lethal in front of goal, it’s a fact.

“We had chances to kill off the game. We had one cleared off the line and others we should have done better with – so we end up hanging on for a 1-0 win.

“You can’t afford to do that all of the time.”

He added: “I thought Evan Horwood did well going forward and he linked up well with Andy Monkhouse – that’s how the goal game, a good work on the left side and Sweens has done brilliantly to finish it.

“But we always give them a wee chance at 1-0.

“It’s frustrating not to take three points, but to come here against a big, organised team and take something home with us isn’t bad. It sets us up nicely going into Monday against Brentford.”