FRUSTRATED Sam Collins said his Hartlepool United teammates “tried everything” to score but just couldn’t manage to break down a stubborn Cheltenham Town defence.
The 36-year-old captain described the 1-0 defeat as “one of those days” after they went down to a 74th minute Jermaine McGlashan goal.
Pools created enough chances to score themselves, 14 in total but only five were on target, but in the end it wasn’t enough to the disappointment of a devastated dressing room.
Defeat saw Pools slip to 13th in Sky Bet League Two but Collins insists it wasn’t for the lack of trying that they were beaten.
The veteran defender, once again paired with on-loan Middlesbrough defender Christian Burgess, said afterwards the players were “devastated” because they didn’t feel like they were going to get beat.
“We were trying everything to score,” said Collins.
“We had a few half-chances first-half and then second-half we have had probably six or seven really good situations to score.
“But then they went and nicked a goal off us, without ever really hurting us.
“Then to sum it up there was one shot going in and it has hit Lukey [James]- it was just one of those days.”
Collins added: “They changed formation after about 10 minutes and just sat back and were quite happy to take a point.
“If we had got that first goal it would have brought them onto us and we would have gone on to hurt them even more and got two or even three goals.
“Then it is a completely different scenarios and we win the game comfortably.
“But you have to give them credit though.
“They put everything behind the ball and that is what the defender’s get paid to do, to be fair to them.
“Some of the blocks were really good and I suppose their manager will be really pleased anytime coming away from home and keeping a clean sheet.”
Brave Collins was playing despite a suspected fractured cheekbone, following the 4-2 home defeat to Mansfield Town on Tuesday but the no-nonsense defender said there was no way he wasn’t going to be playing on Saturday.
The injury underneath his right eye had flared up badly after the midweek match but had settled down by the weekend.
The former Hull City defender added: “It looked a lot worse on the Tuesday night and Wednesday morning than it does now.
“I am fine though.
“I don’t know what I have actually done, whether I have fractured it or not but it was never going to stop me playing.
“There is nothing they could do with it anyway, if I can handle the pain, as such, then I will just crack on with it.
“That is what I wanted to do.”
- RICHARD MENNEAR