MICK Wadsworth hailed the “Herculean effort” of 10-man Hartlepool United after they were cruelly dumped out of the Carling Cup on penalty kicks against Sheffield United.
Antony Sweeney volleyed home an 80th-minute equaliser to cancel out Stephen Quinn’s first-half opener only to succumb to a groin problem moments later, leaving Pools to see out the game a man down.
Wadsworth’s boys made it through to full-time before drawing on reserves of strength and stamina to see out extra-time and take the first-round tie to a penalty shootout.
It was all square after five efforts each, Colin Nish missing for the hosts and Quinn the guilty party for the Blades, before skipper Sam Collins saw his effort saved allowing Danny Philliskirk to smash a winner.
But Wadsworth had nothing but praise for his battle-worn troops when he spoke to SportMail today.
“It was a Herculean effort,” he proudly sounded.
“From the point of losing Tony the boys were just magnificent.
“But they were before that as well.
“I thought by and large we had the better of the exchanges.
“There can be no criticism. We have taken it to the wire and there was no disgrace in losing.
“I’m proud of them and couldn’t have asked for any more effort, it was very encouraging.”
Full story in Wednesday’s Mail