Craig Hignett hails Hartlepool United heroes Billy Paynter and Adam Jackson – and a set-piece goal

Billy Paynter and Adam Jackson
Billy Paynter and Adam Jackson

Craig Hignett says he can’t wait to get time on the training ground to work on Hartlepool United’s set-pieces.

So it was ironic that both Pools goals in the 2-1 win over Yeovil Town came via two dead-ball situations.

If you want someone to take a penalty in a pressure situation then it’s him


The 58th-minute opener came from the spot after a controversial penalty – referee Kevin Wright judging Jakub Sokolik had felled Nathan Thomas just inside the area not outside it as it appeared at first glance.

Billy Paynter showed he was calmness personified by tucking the ball past Artur Krysiak despite the Glovers keeper ‘guessing’ right.

“It was a blatant penalty,” insisted Hignett. “Nathan has done really well, shown quick feet, pushed it past the lad who’s mis-timed his challenge. There was no doubt about it.

“Yeovil had got on top at that point and I was thinking of a change.

“But goals change games and after that, we settled.

“Billy is great – he’s a leader and if you want someone to take a penalty in a pressure situation then it’s him.

“It was a great penalty, I had no doubts he was going to put it in. It was another goal for him, I’m really pleased.”

The second home goal came 20 minutes from time and this was a collector’s item – from a corner, Adam Jackson thumping in a header from the flag-kick at the Rink End by Jordan Richards.

“I had just been moaning to the backroom staff about delivery from corners and then Jordi puts that in and Jacko attacks it,” smiled Hignett. “It was a fantastic header in off the bar.”

The boss’s only gripe was that Pools ended up conceding an injury-time to Francois Zoko.

“To go 2-0 up, you are thinking ‘it’s game over, let’s settle down and play football’ but it did not work out like that,” he said.

“There was no need for that to happen [at the end], there should have been a bit of pride at keeping a clean sheet.”