Craig Harrison reacts to his Hartlepool United team salvaging a point at Gateshead

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison hailed his team's character as they came from a goal and a man down to rescue a point at Gateshead.

Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 5:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 5:45 pm
Craig Harrison at the International Stadium

Liam Donnelly's penalty gave Pools an unexpected lead but then, when in control, Blair Adams was needlessly sent off for a second bookable offence.

And while the referee's call was questionable, the defender's mentality in going in for the challenge, on a booking, must also be called under scrutiny.

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From then on Scott Barrow turned the game on its head with two long-range crackers before the tremendous Michael Woods brought 10-man Pools level.

Harrison was delighted with his players reaction at the International Stadium, especially when so many had questioned whether this group had that kind of performance in them.

He said: "We showed fantastic character which is what we asked for.

"We aren’t on a good run, but we were aggressive from the off on the front foot. We showed the battling qualities which we want.

"The lads more than answered the questions today. To go behind and come back showed spirit. We changed tactically and we told them to stick with it even if we conceded."

Discussing the two goals, Harrison said: "We talk about key moments, five minutes before half time and five after – at that time its about game management.

"The first goal we had a man sent off and are reorganising from it. It took two defections on the way through and hit us.

"We have gone 2-1 down with a replica – and it’s not acceptable as we reorganised at half-time.

"But the pleasing thing is the belief we showed and the counter attacking football we played from wide.

"We all believed in each other and did more than enough to get a point."