Hartlepool United 0 Northampton Town 0: Match reaction, Craig Hignett pleased with excellent Pools

Jake Gray: Penalty appeal
Jake Gray: Penalty appeal

Craig Hignett hailed a "great" Hartlepool United performance as his side ended Northampton Town's 100 per cent run.

The Cobblers had won 10 League Two games on the spin going into today's match at Victoria Park, 'only' to leave with a point.

A draw was the least Pools deserved for a fine performance, in defence and attack, against the Cobblers juggernaut.

While keeper did not have any world-class saves to make, Pools probably just shaded it in terms of threatening situations.

"I'd been telling everyone we were going to win," said Hignett.

"It was a great performance to keep a clean sheet against Northampton who are flying, winning the league by a street.

"It was testament to the lads for the work they have put in this week."

The Pools defence was solid against the division's top scorers and there were no repeats of the late goals which have blighted recent games.

"Last week at Luton, we switched off and got done by a really sloppy goal, when we really shouldn't have lost," he said.

"This week the message before the game was 'concentration'.

"If the game's tight, let's make sure we see it out whether it's 94, 95 minutes.

"To be fair, defensively, I thought we were excellent."

There were two shouts for a penalty in the opening 45 minutes, the first when Jake Gray seemed to be tripped and the second when Adam Jackson went down in a goalmouth scramble.

Referee Matt Haywood said no to both appeals though he awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box for the second incident, Brad Walker putting the dead ball over the bar.

“The Jake Gray one was not one for me, it would have been a harsh call," said Hignett. "The free-kick one?. I felt it was a penalty at first, but it was probably borderline."

Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Walker (Hawkins 89), Gray, Thomas (Oates 90), Paynter, James.

Unused Subs: Bartlett, Richards, Harrison, Laurent, Fenwick.

Booked: Magnay 67, Walker 86

Northampton Town: Smith, Moloney, Diamond, McDonald (Prosser 28), Buchanan, Holmes, Taylor, Rose, Martin (D'Ath 67), Marquis (Byrom 90), Collins

Unused Subs: Clarke, Cresswell, Adams, Hoskins

Booked: Moloney 60, Diamond 85

Referee: Matt Haywood (W Yorks)

Att: 4,012 (away 402)