Hartlepool United new boys please Hignett after Pools 1 Colchester 1

Craig Hignett has given the thumbs up to his new players after Hartlepool United opened the League Two programme with a point.

Monday, 8th August 2016, 8:00 am
Lewis Alessandra: Fine game. Picture by FRANK REID

Three of his four summer signings all made the starting XI in the 1-1 draw against Colchester United at Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

Toto Nsiala, Lewis Alessandra and Padraig Amond played against the U’s with NIcky Deverdics coming on as a sub late on.

Nsiala had a nightmare start when he gifted Colchester an early corner they took the lead from but quickly got into the game and performed well alongside Rob Jones at the back.

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Alessandra was used on the right side of midfield and was bright in the attacking play while Amond had a couple of sights of goal without troubling the away keeper.

Deverdics only got the last 14 minutes, though showed up well.

Hignett felt his new boys were possibly trying too hard but was pleased with their efforts.

“A lot of people are anxious on the first day of the season.

“There are a lot of nerves and the new players want to show how good they are.

“Toto had a nervous start but he grew into the game and looked all right by the end of it.

“Podge missed a good chance, but he did all right, he works his socks off, he’ll be a Mr Consistent.

“Lewie Alessandra I thought was excellent.

“We brought Nicky on later and he is a very good footballer.

“I look at him, Woodsy, Josh and all have had excellent pre-seasons, if I had picked them I know the quality wouldn’t have dropped.

“It’s good to know what I’ve got to call on.”

Hignett admitted he was “satisfied” with a point.

Pools trailed early to the relegated U’s when Tom Eastman finished high into Trevor Carson’s net in the fourth minute.

But the home side were level in the 26th minute when super-cool Billy Paynter converted from the spot after star turn Nathan Thomas was tripped in the area.

Pools had the better of the rest of the first period though Colchester had the pick of the second-half chances, midfielder Kurtis Guthrie guilty of missing one brilliant opening.

“It could have been 2-1 to them inside four minutes!” said Hignett.

“It was a sloppy start from us.

“But after about 15 minutes we bossed the rest of the first half and I was disappointed we could not keep that same intensity in the second half for whatever reason.

“We had some good passages of play but I don’t think we were as good as we were in the first half.

“There were loads of chances, we maybe had five or six, they had some great opportunities.

“It could have gone either way, so I’ve got to be satisfied with a point. I think a draw was a fair result.”