Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison takes draw on chin with Sutton United

Craig Harrison said Hartlepool United must take a last-second Sutton United leveller on the chin as Pools were denied the scalp of the high-fliers.

Saturday, 21st October 2017, 6:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:10 am
Tommy Wright celebrates his last-gasp equaliser for Sutton. PIcture by MARK FLETCHER/ SUTTERPRESS

Pools looked set for their fourth home victory of the season when they led 1-0 nine minutes into added time at Victoria Park.

However, the 10-man U's snatched a point when unmarked sub Tommy Wright thumped in from close range.

Once the away celebrations died down, there was barely time for the match to re-start with Pools forced to settle for a point.

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It meant Pools slipped a place from 13th to 14th, though they remain three points from the play-off positions.

"We're very disappointed, but we've got to be men about it," said Harrison. "We've got to take it on the chin.

“It’s a point, we didn’t play badly and it’s one defeat in 11."

Pools had led, against the run of play, in the 39th minute when Rhys Oates added the finishing touch when keeper Jamie Butler saved Devante Rodney's shot from the edge of the box.

Scott Loach, not for the first time this season, made two cracking saves with Carl Magnay making a vital block in the first half from Ross Lafayette.

Pools had a superb chance with the score at 1-0 but Rodney could not convert 10 minutes into trhe second half from close in after Butler had saved from Jonathan Franks.

It has to be said Sutton were well worth their draw, given the chances and pressure they applied, in both halves.

Harrison added: “It was frustrating, conditions played a huge part.

"The team with the wind was always putting the opposition under pressure.

“It was hard to get out of it.

“I thought we started well, Sutton came into it after 20 minutes but we finished the half well and started the second half well

“We got to 70 to 75 minutes and you start to think about defending to see it out, we needed the second goal and we had a good opportunity came our way.

“Unfortunately, the way it fell to Devante, he was a bit on his heels and couldn't put it away."