IT felt like a defeat.
That was the verdict of Neil Austin following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Doncaster Rovers in which his second-half penalty was cancelled out by Rob Jones just one minute from time.
It means that Pools’ search for a victory extends to nine matches and keeps them second from bottom in League One.
And Austin told SportMail: “It felt like a defeat.
“We need to start killing teams off and especially when we are on top – we need to start taking chances.
“We played well in fact, but we are down there for a reason – too many individual mistakes and the table says it all.
“Some of it is down to luck, but the last three or four displays have been positive and against decent teams, so there are signs of improvement.
“We were camped in their half for most of the second half and had some set-pieces from which we were unlucky not to score a few.”
Jones’ leveller came after Peter Hartley had conceded a needless free-kick on halfway and Rovers worked the ball in to the penalty area from which the defender soared to head home.
And Austin went on: “For their goal we go on about giving cheap free-kicks away, Peter has held his hands up though.
“They took it quick and caught us out and we have to be alert to it.
“We’ve had too many games this season when we’ve taken the lead and gone on to lose.
“At least we got a point this time, though, and it gives us something to build on.”
And Austin has revealed that he is now Pools’ man on the spot having followed up his shootout conversion against Bradford City last week with another coolly-taken effort at the weekend.
“I’m the penalty taker now – I think Ryan Noble might have wanted a sniff, but after he missed one on Tuesday I was on it,” he said.
“I was always going that way with it and I’ll always back myself with pens.
“It suits me being the taker so I’ll be stepping up again as and when, hopefully on a regular basis!”