Hartlepool United 1 Colchester 1: Disappointment, yes, but Pools will move on

Rob Jones wins a second-half header. Picture by FRANK REID
Rob Jones wins a second-half header. Picture by FRANK REID

Rob Jones admitted there was “disappointment” Hartlepool United had to share the spoils with Colchester.

But the giant defender has been in the game long enough to be aware a 1-1 home draw at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium is not a bad way to start the League Two season.

He had a very good game, he gave us lots of width and he is dangerous on the ball – the crowd like him, he excites the supporters.

ROB JONES

Pools trailed early on, defender Tom Eastman’s emphatic finish at the Prostate Cancer UK Stand at the Town End shocking the hosts in the fourth minute.

However, Billy Paynter’s 26th-minute penalty levelled up matters after Nathan Thomas was brought down.

Pools had their moments thereafter but could not score, while the U’s had the better chances in the second period.

“There’s disappointment we didn’t win this one – at home, first day and you want to get off to a good start,” he said. “But we had chances to win it, we played well so we know what we can do.

“We allowed them chances towards the end which we’ve got to eradicate.

“But it’s a point and we are on our way.”

Jones, who was preferred to Matthew Bates as the central defensive partner to Toto Nsiala, said he was pleased how Pools performed after an uncertain start.

Pools aided the U’s with the opener after a poor backpass from Nsiala put Craig Hignett’s side in trouble.

“It took us a while to get going, but after the first 10 to 15 minutes I thought we dominated the game,” said Jones. “We had chances and, they could have nicked a couple later on, but we will learn from that.

“First 10 minutes wasn’t us – you saw later on how we can play and you will see as the season moves forward we will grow in stature and confidence.

“And when we get chances in front of goal like that we will put them away.

“Everyone wants to get off to a good start and they started better than us, you have to hold up your hand and say that.

“We grew into it and played some really good football, carved them open many times.

“One all? We are disappointed is that we didn’t win, but we move on to the next one.”

Jones sang the praises of his fellow Teessider, Nathan Thomas, who was the inspiration behind Pools coming out of the game with something.

Not only was the 21-year-old tripped for the penalty, he lit up the Vic with some classic attacking play, giving right-back Richard Brindley a bit of a going over.

“Nathan is a very good player,” said the vastly-experienced centre-half.

“I’ve known him a good while now and he has pace,power, determination, a good left foot and right foot! Good in the air for his size.

“He’s a very good future.

“Nathan had a very good game, he gave us lots of width and he is dangerous on the ball – the crowd like him, he excites the supporters.

“You hear the noise levels go up when he has the ball and he brings a lot to the team.

“But I thought we were all good, I just don’t think we converted those chances late in the first half.

“That’s what wins you games but we need to pick ourselves up and move on to the next one.”

The next one is a difficult one – a trip to Preston North End in the first round of the EFL Cup tomorrow night with the next League Two match the small matter of a visit to Exeter City on Saturday.

Jones has done enough to feature in either or both of the fixtures.