Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Featherstone discusses penalty incident and 4-1 FA Cup third round defeat at Oxford United

Nicky Featherstone felt Hartlepool United’s 4-1 defeat at Oxford United ‘was probably a bit harsh on reflection’.

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Sunday, 5th January 2020, 11:45 am
Nicky Featherstone of Hartlepool United (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)
Nicky Featherstone of Hartlepool United (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

Pools led 1-0 at half-time before a second half fight back from the League One side saw the hosts progress to the FA Cup fourth round.

“There’s positives to take but the overriding feeling is disappointment,” Featherstone told the Hartlepool Mail.

“The 4-1 scoreline was probably a bit harsh on reflection. We came here with a game plan to frustrate them and that worked for a while but they’re a very good team on their home pitch.

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“We got on the front foot when we were 2-1 down which left us open and cost us two goals which was harsh but this cup run is a bonus for us not a priority. We’ve done well to get this far and it’s a bonus for us as players and the club.”

At 1-0, Pools had a big penalty shout on the stroke of half-time as goalscorer Mark Kitching was bundled down inside the area.

“I thought it was a penalty straight away,” Featherstone admitted.

“I’m not sure why Kitch would go down if he was through on goal and full of confidence after scoring earlier. For me, it’s a penalty and if we go in 2-0 then it could be a different game.

“We scored early which obviously gave them time to get back into the game but we stuck to our game plan well in the first half and frustrated a very good League One team so we need to take confidence from that into Tuesday.”