Livingston 0 Hartlepool United 0: Craig Hignett pleased with Pools

Craig Hignett declared himself "fairly pleased" with Hartlepool United even though their friendly at :Livingston ended in a goalless draw.

Saturday, 23rd July 2016, 4:40 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd July 2016, 5:44 pm
Nicky Deverdics: Denied by keeper

Pools, supported by 104 travelling fans, had the better of the play at Almondvale Stadium, but could not find the net.

Nicky Deverdics went close in the first half, Liam Kelly keeping out his free-kick, while the keeper made a fine save from sub Kieran Green late on.

Michael Woods fired over after a bright move, Jordan Richards went wide with a good chance just after coming on in the second half while fellow sub Matthew Bates had a close-range shot blocked.

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"It was a good competitive game, that's why we came here," said Hignett.

"I wanted us to be put under a bit of pressure and Livingston did that, they made it difficult for the lads.

"But, apart from the first 20 minutes, when we looked a bit leggy, I thought we controlled the rest of the game.

"Things are coming together and I was fairly pleased with what I've seen."

Hignett sent out a strong XI, with trialist Liam Donnelly getting a start alongside Toto Nsiala, and Pools had the better of the first 45 minutes.

But the first chance went the way of Livingston, Adam Bartlett diving to his left to save from Shaun Byrne.

Play was end-to-end with Pools enjoying their fair share of possession against the Scottish League One outfit who are further into their programme than the visitors.

Lewis Hawkins tried his luck from long-range, his effort going just wide of the post.

Skipper Billy Paynter saw a deflected shot tipped over the bar by Liam Kelly while a Nicky Deverdics free-kick looked destined for the net until the Livi keeper produced a fine save.

Pools should have take the lead at the end of the first half when some Nathan thomas trickery won a corner.

But with the goal gaping and Nsiala and Paynter going for the ball, the header from point-blank range went wide.

Hignett made five changes at the break, withdrawing Carl Magnay, Toto Nsalia, Nicky Deverdics, Lewis Alessandra and Billy Paynter, Scott Harrison, Matthew Bates, Josh Laurent, Michael Woods

and Padraig Amond coming on.

Pools produced the move of the match in the 58th minute as Woods, Hawkins, Amond and Laurent all combined before Woods shot over the top with his left foot.

Hignett introduced Jordan Richards and Rhys Oates just after the hour for Jake Carroll and Thomas.

And Richards, storming down the left channel into the box, should have put Pools ahead but his 12-yard shot flashed wide.

Bates had a chance eight minutes from time when he had a close-range shot blocked.

Kieran Green came on for the final 20 minutes and caught the eye in the middle of the park.

He almost grabbed an 88th-minute winner when his shot from outside the box was tturned out for a corner by Kelly diving to his right.

Pools ended strongly when Bates and Woods combined inside the box, but the ball ran loose and referee Steve Reid blew for full-time.




Livingston: Kelly, Miller, Lithgow, Longridge, Halkett, Sinclair (Mullin 59), Byrne (Crighton 46), Pittman, Watt (Mullen 46). Carrick (Ogilvy 70), Buchanan (Knox 59)

Pools: Bartlett, Magnay (Harrison 46), Donnelly, Nsiala (Bates 46), Carroll (Richards 62), Featherstone (Green 70), Hawkins, Deverdics (Laurent 46), Alessandra (Woods 46), Paynter (Amond 46),

Thomas (Oates 62).

Sub (not used): Dudzinski,

Referee: Steven Reid

Attendance: 313 (away 104)