Matthew Bates reacts to THAT Louis Laing blunder and a vital away day point for Pools
Hartlepool United caretaker boss Matthew Bates believes Pools' Sutton point was well-deserved.
But he knows things could have been so different had Louis Laing's last gasp error been capitalised on by the promotion-chasing hosts.
Josh Hawkes' second goal from the club on 26 minutes cancelled out an earlier Ross Lafayette opener.
It was Lafayette who Laing presented with the chance to win it in added time, but he fluffed his lines, ensure Pools took one step closer to National League safety.
"I don't think Louis would have been getting on the bus had that gone in," joked Bates.
"We have spoken about it. At this point it is something he has to look at.
"For the rest of the game he was magnificent but that final second he made the mistake. He has to cut that out.
"We asked him in the dressing room 'what were you thinking?'
"He said he thought he had space and time.
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"It is fine lines in football. If it had gone the other way I could have been going mental and it would have been justified, but I am not and we got a point."
A point was an unexpected bonus from a decent weekend for Pools, with results elsewhere going their way.
Win on Tuesday and safety is secured.
"Going on the second half it was a well-deserved point. I think we matched them after the break," said Bates on his players' performance at Gander Green Lane yesterday
"We got off to a slow start. We worked on a video with the lads about their style of play - it was route one to say the least - but I think it caught us a bit by surprise.
"We changed things around at half-time and we more than matched them.
"It was about stopping their full-backs, who were, in the first-half, their most creative players. We went to a three up top to stop them getting forward.
"There was never a point where I thought we were struggling after half-time, apart from the last second, of course.
"I was pleased with it. It was a grafting performance.
"A point away from home against a team up the top? Of course it is a good point."