'I'm gutted' - Graeme Lee gave his reaction as Hartlepool United slipped to a late defeat at Bristol Rovers

Graeme Lee was left ‘gutted’ as Hartlepool United slipped to a late defeat against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

By Joe Ramage
Sunday, 16th January 2022, 8:00 am

Pools dominated the game for long periods and looked to be the ones who would take all three points from the game if there was to be a winner after Mark Cullen saw his effort well saved from man of the match James Belshaw in the Rovers goal.

But Lee’s side were hit with a late sucker punch when Aaron Collins was able to pounce on a rare loose ball in the Pools area and power home emphatically with just three minutes remaining on the clock.

And with Pools chasing an equaliser, things got worse when Jamie Sterry was adjudged to have brought down Collins who had gotten goal side of the former Newcastle United defender and was shown a straight red card.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Graeme Lee could not hide his disappointment as Hartlepool United suffered a late defeat at the Memorial Stadium against Bristol Rovers. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

From the resulting freekick, Antony Evans struck a delightful effort in off the underside of the bar to clinch an unlikely victory for Joey Barton’s side.

“It’s difficult. I’m gutted. In my own head I’m telling myself ‘performance, performance, performance’ and that’s one thing we have to take away,” said Lee.

“If we didn’t perform the way we did and we didn’t create chances then I’d be worried but today the performance, and the chances we created, it’ll come. I know it’ll come, and when it comes I’d like to think someone is going to get a bit of a turning over.

“For 85 minutes I thought we were outstanding,” Lee added.

“We have to be more clinical in front of goal. We created chance after chance, we dominated the game and we’ve got to take our chances.

“I think Culls’ one at the end, he probably hits it too clean and the keeper makes a fantastic save then they go down the other end and get their chance.

“We don’t win the first ball and don’t win the second ball and then the ball is in the back of our net and we’ve been punished.

“But performance-wise I thought we were outstanding. As much as we’re absolutely devastated with the result and how it panned out we’ve got to look at what the performance was and how we move on from that.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Hartlepool United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor.