Graeme Lee satisfied with Hartlepool United's draw against Mansfield Town as Pools come from behind to deny the Stags
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Pools had it all to do after the Stags gained an early lead through George Lapslie’s powerful strike before James Perch was able to guide a Lapslie cross over Ben Killip to double the lead moments later.
The quickfire double rocked Pools who had to hang in at times during the first half with Killip on hand to make a selection of key saves before Joe Grey gave Pools a lifeline four minutes before the interval.
Neill Byrne’s lofted ball saw Jamie Sterry in on goal where his effort from a tight angle was saved by Nathan Bishop but only into the path of Grey who had continued his run and was able to bundle the ball over the line.
And Lee’s side were level before the break as Nicky Featherstone threaded a ball into Luke Molyneux’s path and Pools’ talisman found the bottom corner with an excellent strike from 20-yards.
Neither side could be separated in a competitive second half as Molyneux was stretchered off with Joe White his replacement.
And it was White who could have capped a remarkable turnaround when his quick feet created a clear opening in stoppage time but the Newcastle United loanee dragged wide.
“It was an entertaining night. I enjoyed it - apart from when we were 2-0 down,” said Lee.
“I thought we started alright and then they came into the game and they’re a good team. They’ve got a squad of players who I think any League Two team would be looking at wanting to bring in if they could.
“It got to 2-0 and I feared the worst but we showed a bit of character.
“It was a great run from Jamie Sterry and Joe Grey gets on the end of it and brings us back into it. And that final 10 minutes or whatever it was until half-time from us scoring to the half-time whistle is the intensity we want to play at.
“We get the second goal and everyone is buzzing, you don’t want half-time to come, you want that momentum to continue.
“It was a good battling game in the second half. You’ve got to grind it out and work for each other and we did that in spells.
“They had opportunities because they’re good players but then Joe White dances through god knows how many players and puts himself through. Unfortunately he pulls it wide.”
Despite the miss, Lee has backed White, insisting he would convert that opportunity more times than not.
“I’d put him in there 10 times and he’d probably score nine of them,” said Lee.
“To be fair, if you want somebody going through in that position you’d probably put Joe White in that position all day long. He’s technically very, very good.
“Unfortunately, I don’t know if it was the excitement or what just got the better of him.
“It would have been lovely for us all. But I'm happy with the draw because it’s a tough game and especially from 2-0 down.
“We want to win games and I want to be more exciting but I felt as though we got there in the end.”