Scott Harrison has blasted his Hartlepool United teammates for their “embarrassing” performance in the 2-1 defeat to Leyton Orient, writes Chris Bell.
An eighth-minute goal from Rhys Oates in the 24th v 22nd clash looked to set Pools up for a crucial three points that would have pulled them away from the relegation zone.
But instead Pools were dominated by a youthful Orient side and conceded two goals after Oates’ opener.
Harrison was one of many players to perform significantly below-par and he was most concerned that he and his colleagues failed to do the job that was asked of them by manager Dave Jones.
“They were enthusiastic lads, a young team, and we knew what we needed to do, but we just didn’t do it,” the central defender said.
“It was a massive opportunity to put a few more points between us [and second-bottom Newport] and it was embarrassing really. I’m gutted.
“We didn’t do what we needed to do to stop them. As a team we were all over the place, we weren’t moving together and it gave them plenty of opportunity to split us and get turned and run at us.”
Oates’ goal should have been a platform but Pools did not build on it.
Harrison added: “When we scored the goal, we needed to keep the ball moving and settle it down a bit, instead of just putting it back in and letting them attack us again. At the end it just killed us.
“We did have a few good chances at the end but it shouldn’t have come to the point where we needed those chances. The game should have been put to bed. 1-0 should have been enough to win the game anyway, but it just wasn’t.”
Harrison also felt aggrieved by some of the rulings by referee Dean Whitestone and was angry in injury time that a kick against him went unpunished.
“I think the referee gave a few decisions that we didn’t feel should have been their free-kicks,” he went on.
“I’ve won a header, nothing malicious in it, and some kid has volleyed me thinking he’s clever. The referee needs to see it.”