Craig Hignett reflects on Hartlepool United's 2-1 defeat at Stockport County as shocking first half proves costly

Once again, it’s a case of sloppy defending at one end and a lack of ruthlessness at the other that has cost Hartlepool United.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 10th October 2019, 6:10 am
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Stockport County at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Wednesday 9th October 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

A slow start at Edgeley Park on Wednesday evening saw Pools go 2-0 down against an energetic Stockport County side after just 22-minutes. Goals from Ash Palmer and Tom Walker put the home side in control going in at half-time.

Pools were on the front foot for the majority of the second half before finally breaching the Hatters’ defence four minutes from time as substitute Nicke Kabamba turned in Gavan Holohan’s parried effort.

“We scored too late in the game,” Hignett admitted.

“I was fairly confident we’d get something out of the game had we scored sooner. But we didn’t score until five minutes from time and then we huffed and puffed and didn’t make enough of our opportunities.

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“We were sloppy with their goals, we had spoken and worked on set-pieces and the threat there and they scored early from a set-piece.

“The second goal was sloppy too. The first half was too sloppy in general, it was too slow.

“You can’t start like that and expect to win. They could have scored three or four so to get in at two-down words were said, we made a change, attacked and we were as good as we have been all season at times in the second half, we’re just not clinical enough again.

“In one way I’m pleased with the second half showing, we didn’t lie down and we had a go but we’re not taking our chances.”