Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Featherstone massively disappointed with goals conceded in 2-1 defeat at Barnet as substitute Paul McCallum makes the difference on his debut

Nicky Featherstone felt Hartlepool United’s first National League defeat since New Year’s Day was an avoidable one as they were beaten 2-1 at Barnet.

Pools were reduced to 10-men early in the second half as Gavan Holohan was shown a second yellow card with the score at 0-0.

While being a man down made things more difficult for Featherstone and his teammates, the midfielder pointed to poor decision making as the primary factor in the defeat.

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“If they opened us up when we had 10 men then it’s different but they haven’t and we’ve conceded one from a set-piece and the second one is a second phase after a corner so it’s massively disappointing, the second one especially,” said the 31-year-old.

The deadlock was broken by substitute Paul McCallum who scored with his first touch on his debut. Pools levelled up through a Dan Sweeney own goal before McCallum played a key role moments later to set-up Simeon Akinola’s winner.

Frustratingly, Dave Challinor had already warned the Hartlepool players of the Barnet forward’s threat.

“The gaffer said when McCallum comes on, we’ve got to defend higher up the pitch,” Featherstone added.

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“We had an opportunity to get out after a clearance up the pitch but we seemed to stay in there and it made things difficult with the second goal.

“You can look at both goals and say he’s won them the game but us players have got to take on board what the manager is saying because both of those goals are preventable.”